Fantastic optimistic article in Wired by David Byrne about emerging music models: David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars. His conclusion:
No single model will work for everyone. There's room for all of us. Some artists are the Coke and Pepsi of music, while others are the fine wine — or the funky home-brewed moonshine. And that's fine. I like Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man." Sometimes a corporate soft drink is what you want — just not at the expense of the other thing. In the recent past, it often seemed like all or nothing, but maybe now we won't be forced to choose.
As someone doing the 100% DIY thing for years, I've been scouting around for the low to midrange music biz services and been fairly disappointed with the options. Hopefully that'll improve.