what it's worth to me
(as a system admin too...)
Is buying a server and shoving it in a local colocation with 100mbit of unlimited bandwidth on a well connected backbone (about 6ms ping from my local company office, 20ms from home). Server ~$3k, colo ~$200/mo.
Though it provides more than the 3.6TB of usable storage(4x2TB SAS disks hardware RAID 10), there are a half dozen VMs providing email, web hosting, DNS, blog, cloud(owncloud which I am new to), site to site VPN as a backdoor into my home network etc. Add all the services up, and I save tons of $$ over using cloud. Even the storage cost alone blows the doors off cloud storage.
Been hosting my own stuff going back to 1997 or so. Initially started as part of a small ISP, then the ISP mostly folded and the stuff came back home(part of a very geeky home network at the time), hosted on a 1Mbit DSL line w/8 static IPs for several years. At one point I had a 2nd 1Mbit DSL line installed for a friend's non profit org (~10 years ago) to run their website off a server at my apartment.
Finally DSL ISP started giving trouble so I tossed an old server up at a local co-lo in Seattle with a ~2Mbit connection for $90/mo, ran that for a year or so, server started having issues so moved to Terremark Vcloud for a year(~$180/mo with a small fraction of the capacity that I have today).
Then decided to bite the bullet and buy a new server and throw it up at the server vendor's colo for ~$100/mo. A year later the server vendor decided to get out of the hosting game, so I opted to stay in the same facility though had to go direct with the facility and the cost doubled to $200/mo.
Still worth it in the grand scheme of things though. I've had to replace a couple bad HDDs, a failing USB memory stick(which runs vSphere). Other than that it's been pretty painless over the past couple years. Of course anyone doing something like this I urge you to choose a local facility so you have easy access to the system.
I get a full third of a rack, though too power limited to make use of it, my $200/mo gets me I think 200W of power, or is it 240W I forget. I'm tempted in the not-too-distant-future to replace my server with something with a ton more storage.
Back when I was in the colo market in Seattle there was no similar facility to what I am in now (in the Bay Area). There are several facilities here that offer large bandwidth for low cost. I don't need a lot of bandwidth but it's nice to have it available.
The one thing I wish I had is more upload bandwidth on my broadband connection - I currently tap out at around 1.5Mbps upload. The best plan offered is "up to" 5Mbps upload (up to 150Mbps download). I'd love it if I could get bi-directional 25Mbps for a reasonable price (I'd pay up to maybe $200/mo for that). But the only way to get that here is to go commercial, and probably $1k/mo+