So, that article Barry Eisler pointed me to that I couldn't read at the time I finally got to read. Again, doesn't support his contention of thousands of writers making a good living self-publishing. Plus, half is him pontificating, and the other half if JA Konrath saying, "Yea, what he said, and I said it first."
Is book publishing hard? Yes it is. Is self-publishing easy? Yes it is. Is successful "legacy" publishing hard? Yes it is (see many previous posts on the low advances, low sales, and the three-book death spiral, if you make it to three). Is successful self-publishing hard? It's much harder than the legacy model. In both you pays you buck, you takes your chances.
However, if you get over the hurdle of legacy publishing the chances of your success are slightly higher than in self-publishing where the successful part is much harder (see various posts about having to do it all yourself).
Are their success story in self-publishing? Yes. And most of those end with getting "legacy" publishing contracts (Celestine Prophecy, etc).
So, again, Barry doesn't have proof of what he's talking about with "thousands of self-published authors making a good living", and the equation has stayed basically the same (there was self-publishing before Amazon and the Kindle, it just required more up-front money). And while what Barry and JA say about contracts is true, that's why your agent makes their money (I'll also point out that while Barry says you'll never get your rights back, he did get his rights back).
For me, I'll continue my path with the "legacy" system. I might do self-publishing in the future, creating a hybrid-career (which is actually the best advice at the moment). It's my unlearned opinion that "legacy" publishing still offers the better overall chance.
As always with writing advice, YMMV.