Here's an brief but interesting August 2008 interview with Rob Erlichman in the Cornell University Chronicle Online. Erlichman is the CEO of Sunlight Electric, a San Francisco-based solar panel producer.
"Contrary to what one can read in the popular press, we're already at a place where the lines cross between the cost of solar power and the cost of using conventional generated electricity. The reason I say that, although you don't read about it, is because most people don't take into account all of the costs of their use of electricity.
For example, if you're a utility customer and you pay your electric bill for 20 years, what do you have at the end of those 20 years? You have nothing. Your money has gone up in smoke. Wouldn't the more attractive alternative be to invest in your own power plant, and at the end of that 20 years, you own something that generates power?"