Personally I have reservations about self-hosting and when I registered my first blog with WordPress.com on Nov 2, 2006 I had made up my mind that I was going with WP.com for the long term. I knew I would put in a lot of hard work and sweat not forgetting to mention countless late nights rushing photographic deadlines etc. The one predominate fear I have is losing all the years of work if my blog was self-hosted.
Let's face it, life is short and one reason I blog is to leave a legacy of my work for my children to discover when they grow up. They're now too young to be interested in their dad's journeys and someday when they're researching for school work on the web, they may stumble upon my work via Google search and that'd be a interesting way to discover what they didn't know about me.
I have no one to succeed me when I'm gone and I'm the only one who handles the entire workflow including payment of hosting fees etc—the last thing I want happen is web host deleting all the hard work because they stopped receiving payment from me. I actually stopped to think about this instead of shopping for a hosting provider. The only files that are presently linked from WordPress blog are the external galleries which I have no found a free platform to park them. I guess at the blog posts will stay with some bad links.