How lucrative is bitcoin farming, really?

Recently, so much excitement and controversy have been dominating the news. Everyone seems to be fascinated with the brand new form of currency. But before all the hypes get into your head and start contemplating creating your own personal bitcoin farm, do you feel you've the necessary knowledge? Have you had the correct expectation when it comes to its return of investment? 

The key reason why anybody is considering investing in bitcoin mine is because they would like to make big fortune out of it. 

Given all the press headlines that place this new electronic currency into the spotlight, such foolish expectation is just natural. I don't know which story you've heard but one that's been making huge waves is about a Norwegian who saw his US$26.60 worth of bitcoins purchased back in 2009, suddenly worth US$886,000 in 2013. I'm not intending to tell you how much ROI that's equivalent to. You can do the the maths yourself. 

Too good too be true encounters like this are what attract the fools into this new form of currency. Everyone wish this guy has been them. That applies to me too. This is exactly why everyone is thinking of establishing their bitcoin harvesters in the hope of making huge fortune from it. But can it be reasonable? It would have been 5 years back but, not today. 

The first thing to ask is just how much investment money have you got assigned to build such harvesting station? A recently available blog article shows that even if you have 600 quad-core servers working with 2.8GHz clock for twelve hours per day, you'd end up with horrible $1,300 in a year. Mind you that this is not taking into consideration the fact that it will just get more exhaustive as you mine more of the coins. 

Obviously many argue this study has been too simplistic. Many point out the absence of optimization that can surely enhance the mining productivity and therefore ROI. These are good reasons, I agree. But to be fair, these optimization efforts and all of the hours used on it should have to be taken into account as part of the total investment cost. When everything is considered, I believe the picture would not have been much better. 

If several years back you're considering the stuffs that you want to do today, I admire you and you're a genius. But when you're beginning to think of it now, I think you've no idea on what you're doing.