Sometimes we all run into problems with programming or administering SQL Server and need help. When it happens to me I try to figure things out myself. With so much content on the web, usually I can find the answer pretty quickly. Sometimes, I end up posting my question on a forum like SQLServerCentral.com.
A funny thing usually happens. In order to post an intelligent question, I gather and organize all of the information that I know about the problem. Often, I'll think of a place to look, a log file for example, that I didn't think of before. Nine times out of ten, I will solve my own problem by the time I have my question typed out. I need to learn to go through this exercise sooner, before I am desperate enough to ask for help. I need to get over that too, there is no dishonor in asking for help. We're all in this together!
Sometimes, even posting the problem in the forum doesn't get me the answer. I recently called Microsoft support twice in one week! The fix for one of the problems was undocumented, some registry keys that the SQL Server startup account needs if it not in the admin group on Windows 2003. The fix for the other problem was actually documented, but I never found the article on my own. Again it involved giving the startup account permissions on certain registry keys when multiple instances have different startup accounts. It took several days, but once we figured out what was actually going on they had the answer.
I am lucky, since we are an Enterprise customer, the firm I work for already has paid for MS support. But still, I wouldn't call them unless I really tried to solve the problem myself first.
Even Aunt Kathi needs help now and then!