I have just finished reading an article on "Bike Radar" about custom resprays. When I first started the rebuild project I did consider getting a professional paint job, but decided that the aim was really to get a cheap mountain bike on the hills, not a labour of love. If you remember, the paintwork on the frame was OK if alittle stone chipped. So to keep the additional damage to it down to a minimum, I did a quick and dirty cover up job. It would have been possible to just about do a strip and respray in the shed I have, but it would never have been clean, and besides the bike didn't need one.
At first glance the prices quoted in the article are really reasonable, and I would say I'd happily keep a specialist frame builder afloat with a respray. At £120 for stripping and £45 for one colour, its not too bad. I could have added extra cable guides and had a front mech and even fitted disc brake mountings to the frame. Bootstrap evolution would have occured on the old P3 as it's DNA was tweaked with small biochemical changes. Then I totalled it all up and the price came to close to £300, rather defeating the object of a cheap rebuild as I could get a decent hardtail for the final build and spray price with all new shiney components on. Even having a simple clean and respray adds significant costs to the project.
I can see the attraction, but I can also see the article writer's point that this is something you do for a one off frame or a frame to which you have some deep emotional attachment. I suspect if it is the latter you should probably stick the bike on the wall where you can see it everyday, because otherwise you may leave it in the shed and never appreciate it's beauty.