Its good to hear your feedback guys, and I'm glad you've made yourself at home and have found it helpful for your business.
Nutty, I'm guessing you feel a little better getting it out :P
From a business standpoint, here is my take -
very very low barrier to entry + high potential return = everybody and my cousin does it
From a seo standpoint, if I may -
I agree with the previous advice of getting referrals and checkin em twice ... but even that is not foolproof by any means. One scenario off the top of my head, an seo may have great results taking on an established website that hasn't been optimized well but if you are a new business the challenges and scope of your project are different and results may vary. Comparing apples to apples based on checking references is almost impossible based on my experiences with providing seo services. First and foremost, it does come down to integrity and relationships. You need to figure this part out firsthand ahead of time - and then also talk to their other customers. Are they even like your business? Not the keyword market, but ... size of business, years in business, age of website, competitiveness of markets. So often references are self serving imo and can also misguide small business owners who are just looking for affirmation so they can move on to their next task at hand. imo.