Okay, this is one of my pet peeves. There is such a HUGE disconnect in terminology where this topic is concerned. You are mixing apples and oranges.
POD is PRINT on Demand. It is a form of printing NOT publishing. The venue in question with regard to self-publishing is vanity or subsidy publishing. That is where an author goes to someone else and has them do the bulk of the work for a fee. Ipublish, publish America, etc.
When you SELF publish you go to a PRINT on Demand company, it is NOT a publisher, it is a PRINT house. LULU is NOT a publisher, they are a PRINTER. Publish America is a Vanity company.
This becomes an issue for those of us who use the PRINT technology to run traditional publishing houses. People who don’t use the terminology correctly have polluted the industry waters with confusion that has seeped into the rest of the industry making PRINT on Demand books undesirable when in fact they are in most cases superior in quality!
If those in the industry, authors, publishers, printers, would stop feeding misinformation to the general public there would be a lot less confusion and questions.
AS for the topic, self-publishing is a viable option for anyone as long as they take it seriously and do it responsibly and properly.
Also see what writer Adam Christopher did with POD.