Deal with your own servers with freaking bad-ass disk I/O can save your infrastructure complexity and sometimes a life saver for a startup. We have been using Intel X-25E SSD drives as our only MySQL storage for a year now. And it is simply amazing and cost effective. If you want to make your life a living hell and deal with turtle speed I/O, tons of EC2 instances and constant fails, try EC2.
Here is a video talking about the big win of SSD. My favorite quote: “50TB SSD in one machine for $80K, and you can fucking skip sharding”.