I can sure relate to the hesitation about doing your first paint job on your "pride and joy". That was exactly the way I felt about mine.
Then when I went to a local resto shop to get a quote on a show-quality paint job, I got a shock ($18,000) --- it became really obvious that the only way this car was ever going to get done would be for me to do it myself, because there was no way I could afford that, and I didn't want to settle for a "regular" body shop paint job.
So, I took a deep breath, bought all Kevin Tetz's "Paintucation" videos, got on his forum and started pestering people with dumb questions, and dove in.
Yes, it was a ton of work and probably hundreds of hours - but I learned that the key to getting a pretty paint job lies mostly in your willingness to put in the time and effort, and the discpline to be willing to "go backwards" when you make a mistake and redo it.
I know my paint job isn't "perfect' - because I'm so intimate with every inch of it that I know where every single tiny flaw is - but when I take it to shows people seem to always comment on how good the paint is.
If you're willing to put in the time and effort, be patient with yourself, and invest in quality tools and supplies - I've got every confidence you can do a job you'll be proud of.
It still isn't cheap. I spent probably $2000 or so on a new compressor, air system, and guns - probably another $2000 or so just on the sprayable materials I shot through them. That doesn't include all the consumables like sand paper, filler, primer/surfacer, various tools (like sanding blocks) and such --- but even with all that I wound up with a paint job that's better than you'd get in any regular body shop for a fraction of what it would have cost at a resto shop, and I can say "I done it myself".