We shopped around for panels controllers inverters and got the best deals on sale ahead of time in 1997, self installed in 1998, not hard. Paid for itself within 6 years and the savings paid off the mortgage, low with sweat equity, in 10 years. All inspected and approved, something that the self made panels can't do. They have to be UL listed and approved. However, for existing houses after inspections you could sneak on the self made cheaper panels. They usually use UV resistant plexiglas which still has high reflectivity and can break in a hailstorm. Better for tracking systems with manual control to tip steep in hail, like the tempered smooth glass panels. A textured rough and unbreakable surface would take away the need for expensive mounting. just simple aluminum "L"s and various bolts, mounted at the average sun angle. There is a new system for reflecting more light on to the panels, too.
As far as that site with make it yourself panel books and DVDs, the price can be knocked down from $98 to $37 with $8 shipping, if you are resistive. The site captures your email and spams you. I thought about making some, but I just don't need any more. There's also instructional stuff for building your own wind generators if you have a lot of wind.
One thing not told was that the inverters put out EMI and RFI which messes with phone lines, computers and guitar amps. Thick aluminum foil needs to go between the inverters and the house, and placed well away from phone lines and computers. For guitar amps you also need the more expensive pure sine wave inverters. Inverters must also be well protected against any moisture, vented, and enclosed against bugs. The AC ground rod and the DC ground rod should be over 6' apart and have a 6 AWG wire between the two to prevent actually attracting lightning by differential potential buildup. Besides the fuzes in the controller, a lightning absorber should be put in for insurance against a close strike frying your system. Design the system for minimum wire use and distance, for less line loss and saving money. The Pocket Reference is essential to have, along with the proper tools. Always oversize your system, for less battery discharge and longer life and because we always buy more toys.