I have been wondering why 100swallows is offered his own domain at 17 dollars whereas I would have to pay 24 dollars.
I am not considering moving to a domain of my own, because I heard that you are left alone to fight spam and hackers. So I was just wondering.
If you register a domain via WordPress.com, domain registration costs $5 (dirt cheap) and mapping is another $12 for $17. If you want a “.me” domain, it’s $24. You are still tied to WordPress.com’s ToS if you do any of these. If you want your domain registration to be private (keeps your WhoIs details out of searches), it costs $8 more. All of these are an annually renewing upgrade.
As far as being left to fight spam and hackers, that would only apply if you were moving off WordPress.com entirely, having your site hosted elsewhere for a monthly or yearly fee. And, yes, you would be the person responsible for keeping your WordPress.org install and plugins updated.