The final reckoning is upon us. I got a total of 25 22oz bottles for a price of about $60. Thus the cost is about $2.40 per bottle, a considerable savings over the $3.50 or so that a normal 22oz bottle costs. Of course, a good economist includes opportunity cost and it does take a lot of time and effort to do this. So, let's say about a dollar a bottle, which makes this about a break even endeavor.
But my main objection was the assertion that the resulting beer was sure to disappoint. A long history of homebrewing years ago taught me that. But lo and behold, the final product this time is fantastic! This is the first beer that I actually really and thoroughly enjoy just for the beer (and not for the fact that I made it). In fact it is so good, that I would choose it over many of the beers I regularly buy in the store. Part of this is, no doubt, due to my good friend who has tons of experience who guided me carefully through the recipe and the execution. Nevertheless, I now consider the whole effort a tremendous success. Save a few pennies and have 25 bottle of great beer to show for it. Not bad.