Kosta K , Jan 13, 2005; 03:38 p.m.
I would highly recommend 2 levels of mats, with colors that accent the picture. I look at photographic galleries any chance I get, and I do believe that the frame and matting play such a big part on the impression.
If you are looking at having more work framed in the future, I would recommend getting the mat cutter, glass cutter, etc. yourself. I would be more than happy to help you with all the steps and share my experiences as I've just started this process myself (this weekend, I'll finish framing about 9 prints of the following sizes: 16x20, 24x30, 12x30, and 15x40). Heck, if you were in the Seattle area, I'd say come on over.
Anyway, if you do decide to frame yourself, the startup costs are not insignificant (at least for me, I live on a budget), but it doesn't take long for your purchased equipment to pay for themselves.
You can get pre-cut frame stock from http://www.pictureframes.com/index.html which saves you the cost of getting a good blade for your miter saw (or from buying one if you don't already have one).
I would recommend going to a stained glass place to get the glass cutter. You will pay more than if you buy over the internet, but the service makes it worth it. This morning, I stopped at Jax's Stained Glass near Seattle where I live, and the staff person / owner was very helpful, showing me a few different tricks for cutting large sheets of glass as well as having me practice on some glass (needless to say, I highly recommend such places that give great service).
I also purchased recently a mat cutter from http://www.framingsupplies.com - specifically a Logan Frame Edge 655. I'm rather clumsy, so I bought a more expensive mat cutter, but I feel that it is worth it. I'd be more than happy to share some tips for avoiding overcut in the mats.
I could go on, but I'll leave it to you if you (or anyone else) would like to know more about my experience so far.
Best of luck, Kosta