Originally Posted by JimP
A dE 2000 of 3 or less is considered to not be visible but what I've found is that some colors can have errors lower than 3 and still be decernable as not matching the target. Once you hit .7, then its pretty much a match for all colors. Then you have memory colors. Are you really likely to know that a certain shade of blue isn't right? Probably not unless you have a reference quality display next to yours.
About your discussion on spectro accuracy. It seems like once you get above .003 in either x or y, then it starts creating problems. From a broader view, you might have additional errors that when you add them all together becomes significant. As you probably already know, the lower error spectros cost serious money. That's why I often recommend using Chad B. You basically would have to have 40 to 50 calibrations to break even on the equipment. Before then, the tech will have changed a few more times that cost you more in equipment.
To add to this:
The kind of "perceptional" difference being implied can be compared to how well one can catch a ball with one eye open vs two eyes open. There is a huge difference at first (i.e. comparing screens side by side) but after a few minutes your brain adjusts and it's no where near as hard (general consensus/rule of thumb of <3 dE CIE2000).
Ted Aspiotis has a post around here where he has some examples ("Can you spot the difference?" kind of examples), but I don't have the link to it off hand. If he replies I'm sure he could link it if he thinks it would help.
As for getting your own equipment vs calibrator....
There will be a lot to learn. A. LOT.
To make things simpler, think about the cost:time:time=money ratio of your options.
If you have alot of free time, you may enjoy learning about calibration and want to become one yourself
Personally I'm all for spreading the joy and anguish of calibration to others, but honestly it's just not for some people. I'm sure you can figure this out at this point with all the comments so far.
Either way, you will have a nice picture once things are all said and done