1) Virtually no DJs (at least the ones I looked at) post any sort of pricing information online. They all want to lure you into the trap of talking face-to-face or over the phone before pricing even comes up. Superbly aggravating. I sat through a 90-minute phone presentation with a very nice DJ only to discover that her prices were almost 3 times as expensive as the previous quote I had received... and that quote had made my eyes pop out of my skull, let alone 3 times that!
2) Looking up DJs online is kind of a crapshoot. At least with photographers, you can see their work, allowing you to decide if they are a fit or not. With DJs, you have no real way of seeing their wedding services in action, so it can be kind of nerve-wracking. Fortunately, I also learned that there's a pretty active DJ network, so you can get some pretty honest recommendations from people who know what it takes to be considered a good DJ.
3) Last, but not least, DJs cost a great deal more than what I expected. I found a few super bargains, but those kind of made me wary -- why would these individuals charge so much less than their competition? Are they cheap because they are desperate for business? Are they desperate because they are below-average DJs? Excluding those cheap-os, the vast majority of the quotes I received fell within a narrow range of the original quote I received. So, after much research, it became clear that the real problem with the DJ budget wasn't the price... it was my perception of what the price realistically should be. Once I wrapped my head around that, the entire booking process became much more palatable.
In the end, we decided to book Top Dog DJs, a Johnstown-based DJ who provided us with that fateful first quote. I didn't have the same "OMG YES WE NEED YOU" reaction to the DJ as I did to the photographer, but that's OK. As long as he plays some sweet jams that get people on their feet, I give him two thumbs up.
(Sidenote: this cake was featured in an episode of Glee... it was presented to the shop teacher who had successfully returned to work after an wood-working accident. That's right... he cut off both his thumbs.)
Did any of your vendor searches end right where they began?