Well done Osker!!! Yay! I hope you and DW have a fab date. ;-)
Tracylee - I had about 20 interviews or so to transcribe, and they were loooong interviews (about an hour and a half to two hours). I transcribed as many as I could before DS was born, then I transcribed as needed when I was writing up. There's very little chance that I'll need to produce the transcriptions for my work except in the form of short quotations, so this approach worked for me and my advisor agreed with me. However, I have a friend (with two boys now and expecting twins in June) who, in an effort to complete transcriptions before number one was born, hired someone to have hers transcribed. Or at least a few of them. In her case I believe it worked well because a) she had the money from her student loans to spend on transcription and b) it freed up a lot of her precious time to research/write, which we all know is at a premium. So for her, it worked well. I think if the money you spend on transcription is worth the peace of mind of having it done, then go for it.
Halfasianmomma - That sounds like a good plan! Good luck! Btw, what's your field? There are some interesting articles on international influence on design in anthropology, but that may not be relevant to you. ;-)