I actually started out doing that, and I really don`t recommend it to anyone. You never get the good quality people, and just get a bunch of slackers.
I had about 15 people reply to my offer to work for equity. Out of those I went through 4 different people. And each time after a 3-4 weeks they would quit citing lack of personal time. My guess, they didn`t realize how involved it was, and thought it would be a quick reward scenario.
The problem with equity is that you end up paying them their cut for life of your business. So in the long run, its worth it to pay that $70,000(3 programmers for about 6 months), and keep full ownership of your business. + you won`t get anyone serious because not many people are willing to survive on bread crumbs for 6 months while the project is being coded