A penny for your thoughts?

I have a question for you dear readers. Over the last few months I've been debating on hiring someone for a blog design project. You know...spruce up the home page...add some professional pizazz...clear out the clutter...and most importantly, find a design that suits the content and my personality. I've been admiring quite a few from my little spot on the couch at night and it's got a girl thinking...

  • Have you had your blog professionally designed?
  • Was it worth your hard earned pennies?
  • Would you recommend it & who would you recommend that is reasonably priced?
  • Does it matter if the designer is local or not?
Pro/Cons...I want to hear 'em.