a dear friend of mine who only performs in the midwest a few times each month, recorded her first cd five years ago. She spent $12,000 making it. She has sold a little over 3000 units with no radio play and no outlets other than people buying the cd at her gigs. Pay back and not bad profit, i would say.
She has kept a mailing list. Having just recently finished her second cd, (at $18,000) She has already sold almost 400 units from just sending out a flyer.
I look at making a cd as a good fun exercise and a good way to increase the wages of the gigs we're already playing, anyway.
maybe you won't get rich, but, hey, is that why you're playing music?