Over the years, I've paid more for genealogy tools, books, software, etc. than I care to admit. I'm reminded of the child who sticks their fingers in their ears while singing "La la la la la" to avoid hearing something they don't want to hear. When it comes to genealogy expenses, I am that child.
Ancestry.com is my paid genealogy heaven...and hell. For the amount of information that can be found there on my family, the genealogy expenses would have been out the roof! Not only censuses, but actual death certificates from 1911 - 1953! There's the Kentucky Birth Index. The Kentucky Death Index. Military records thanks to the link with Fold3.com.
Oh and Fold3.com! I have died and gone to Civil War Nirvana! There's so much good information there. I swoon each time visit and find another tidbit of information to work on the jigsaw puzzle that is my family.
My problem with Ancestry.com, however, is lack of human contact. It's far too easy to grab information and photos from everyone else's trees and go along one's merry way. It's been my experience that to try to correct information in someone's tree is nearly impossible. I've sent many emails to fellow researchers with proof that So-And-So did not die in 1848, but actually died 1868 per 2 census listings, court records showing the purchase of a coffin as well as the probate of a will. No answer or, worse, arguments with no proof. I know, I sound like that grumpy old person with a million cats and sits on their porch and yells at the kids in the neighborhood. I prefer personal genealogy. If you're a cousin, give me a yell! Say hi! If you want to use a picture I posted, just ask. A little courtesy goes a long way. Who knows? I might have more information in my personal files. Not everything goes online, you know!