To quote Almond, you don't get the "bloated marketing departments and built-in publishing delays" of big-six publishing, and to quote me, you don't get the "one-(wo)man marketing department and stomach ulcers" of running the whole show yourself. I'll reiterate: every good writer needs an editor. It's in your best interest to have someone who has experience editing, marketing, and selling books on your side, regardless of how big (or small) the operation.
Now, to be fair—and I strongly suggest that you DNTTAH* unless you, like Almond, have a proven record of writing ability and are only "cut[ting] the cord with traditional publishing" (again, Almond's words) because of a question of salability, not ability in general—Almond does decide to pursue self-publishing in this article. However, Almond also has a huge amount of experience in this industry and is making a well-informed decision that 90% of authors (not necessarily you, gentle readers) are not well prepared to make due to lack of experience, research, &c. This is why I'm raising the possibility of the independent publisher as an alternative between The Publishing Machine™ and the (oft perilous) road of self-publishing.
Independent publishers are generally more open to experimental fiction, literary fiction, and poetry than most big-time publishers, so if it's simply a question of readership as opposed to quality of the MS, an indie may be right for you. You'll almost certainly still get a dedicated editor, a marketing department, an art department, and even a sales rep, and many indies sell books to retailers like Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon via distributors like Baker & Taylor. You'll have a lot more control over the finished product than you would at a larger house, but neither will you have to go it alone with regard to the business side of things. Many smaller houses offer higher royalty rates in exchange for lower advances, so if your goal is to someday land a publishing deal with a larger company, it may look better if you take the indie route and earn out your advance rather than struggle to earn back a larger advance from a larger house or struggle to demonstrate profitable sales figures via self-publication.
You tell me, though, fair readers: would you consider an independent publisher a good compromise between the big houses and self-publishing? Would you prefer a more close-knit group of industry professionals backing your book to a larger one, or to the oft-solo adventure of selling your book yourself?
* "Do Not Try This At Home"