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What has been said about vanity publishing has been traditionally true.The situation now is that there are publishers which will provide print-on-demand for low volume work.One of my friends went down that road very successfully:The book she wrote is http://www.alzheimerbc.org/book_review_12.php (blatant plug), and the service she used is http://www.authorhouse.com/GetPublished/PrintOnDemand.aspxClearly, there are competitors the authorhouse, and I cannot say how one compares to another, but if you are looking to low volume self publishing, it certainly is a better route than the traditional volume printers that will be looking at minimum print volumes (clearly, if you are looking to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, then the traditional route might be cheaper in the long run).
George, was she successful in the numbers she sold AND the economics of it too ? ie: does/did she make money ?..enough to live off ?
Publish America has got some good reviews and might be worth a try.