Cathy's Profiles might be nice for a first-timer because she really holds your nose to the grindstone in regards to doing it right, her checklist is an exacting primer in printing profiling targets the right way. With that kind of backgrounding, you will be well versed in buying commercial profiles from anybody.
OTOH, if you plan to use a lot of different media or oddball media you should consider a Spyder 3 Print, Color Munkii, or other print profiling system. These are in the $300 range, about the cost of a dozen commercial profiles not counting shipping or waiting. I bought a Spyder 3 Print and never looked back except to wonder what took me so long. It's excellent and a big improvement over many of the canned profiles I was using, and at least equal to the custom ones.