Solar power is clean, plentiful, and cheap. The problem is that installing a solar system is very expensive. A professionally installed solar system designed to power everything in your house except the heating/cooling system can cost anywhere from $10,000-$30,000. If your average electric bill without heating or cooling is roughly $200 a month, it would take roughly 7-10 years to pay for itself. Most people don't want to wait that long to recoup their investment. You could recoup it faster if your local utility company has a way to buy the excess power generated back from you, but most of them haven't gotten to that point yet.
If you live in a remote area, solar power is a necessity. Wind power is not reliable enough to provide all your electric needs. Still, adding $10 to $30 thousand dollars to the price of building a home is cost prohibitive for most of us.
If you know a little bit about electricity, are good at building simple structures, and can follow simple instructions, there are sites online that can teach you how to build a solar cell for less than $200. Of course, you still need the batteries and other accessories, but according to these sites, you can purchase these pretty cheaply on auction sites.
It would probably take about 8 of these cells, plus accessories, to provide enough power for the average home. To reduce the power load, you could use CFL bulbs, laptop computers, smaller appliances, and hang your clothes to dry. If you supplemented your solar with wind power, you wouldn't need as many cells. The whole solar powered watts/hours calculation should actually be done by a professional for your particular needs.
The point is, that while there is labor involved, and the quality is obviously not going to be as high as a professionally built and installed system, it is possible to have solar power for about a tenth of the cost of a professionally installed solar system.