I'm embarrassed to say this as a photographer, but I've never developed my own film. When I started shooting film, I would take it to my lab, then pick up his work - HIS work. It wasn't until I started shooting digital that I realized how much of taking photos was in the developing.
I shoot what are called digital RAWs, when I go to look at them in my computer later, they are these ugly gray-ish images, what we call a "flat" look. The camera's sensor gathers as much information as it can and then I take these images into a program and basically remove the unwanted information, leaving me with the finished product.
I still occasionally shoot film and pay for the digital scan of the film so that I can play with the photos a little bit in photoshop. It's expensive and the results were never that inspiring. I decided to try and "scan" my photos using my digital camera and a macro lens. There are all sorts of great tutorials online on how to go about this that gave me great inspiration. I was inspired and wanted to get right to it, so I made a quick Mickey Mouse setup to test out the quality difference.
Not only did I think the results were much better than the scans I was paying for, I got to play with the images to a much greater degree. I got those grey flat images that I love so much. Now this is far from developing your own film, the negatives (and positives) are stuck in time and the vision of the gentleman who processed is permanent. BUT, I get a little more of a say on the look that I want. And it's really fun to go back and look at work from around 10 years ago. Here are some samples: