I book a small concert series - Cambridge Drive Concerts - and we've been blessed to present scores of amazing musicians, both touring folk and locals. I'd be hard pressed to pick favorites. We do our money more or less like a house concert, have no guarantee, and frankly the musicians don't walk away with very much. We have a small but very appreciative listening audience, excellent equipment, and the sound is as good as you'll hear anywhere. And I try to be as hospitable as I can. All that said, I've had musicians with reputations who should never play a venue that small and others who simply could not afford to book our venue given the above parameters. I certainly understand their position. They are out there on the road sharing their music and trying to make a living.
On the other hand, I do struggle philosophically with the idea of being a "professional artist" or even owning one's "product" as a musician or painter or whatever.
Here's a TED talk by Amanda Palmer that addresses some of my struggles in an interesting way... What do you all think of what she has to say?