I don`t think web design is a commodity, just like I don`t think hiring a lawyer, CPA, or Shrink is.
First of all, I wouldn`t stand up in front of a judge to dispute a case, just because I used a web based or a home-lawyer CD I bought at Best Buy. I wouldn`t do my own TAXES because they are complicated and I wouldn`t consult a shrink just because I read about it on Web MD...
The problem with professionals these days is that "Just because they have some knowledge" they feel like they can tackle any obstacle thrown at them, including the web site end of it, No, it doesn`t make you an expert. "Not even Close"
Yes, hats off to all the professionals with a degree" but I`m assuming it wasn`t in web design.
I believe that if you`re real estate agent stick to what you know best... Sell Homes, if you`re a lawyer handle your cases, and if you`re a shrink... Keep showing me those funny pictures asking me "What do you see?"
I think more than ever web designers are going to be in demand.... As more customers are educating themselves on the internet, they are starting to see the difference between a half-A$$ Job and someone that took the time to get a real web site. Now you are being judged by colors, fonts, layout, presentation of products. You could be the sharpest tool in the shed, but if you`re customers don`t like your web site`s presentation... they are moving on...
Web Developer / Owner / Consultant
When starting your own business the need to "know-how" is greater than money!