It seems to me that a lot of people (some of you, fair readers, included) are hoping that they'll earn the attention of agents, editors, and Big Publishing in general via self-publishing success. While this isn't intrinsically a bad idea, I ask you to consider the number of people who you think are self-publishing with this goal in mind, followed by the number of people who are successful in that pursuit. To be honest, I have no idea what those figures are (if they even exist). But it seems to me that the number of people who land traditional book contracts through attention gained by self-published work is vanishingly small, and (to my mind, at least) likely smaller than the number of people who get those kinds of contracts by referrals and queries to literary agents.
So, cats & kittens, if you're thinking of self-publishing (or even if you aren't, consider it as a hypothetical): is your goal to get a traditional contract? If not, would you take one if the price were right, or would you stick to your DIY guns and continue to self-publish? Is it a question of principles, or a question of practicality?