I've had a Maya Wrap ring sling with my last two (and that I'll presumably use again this time) that was wonderful for the first several months. After that, I switched to a homemade mei tai and a backpack carrier. The mei tai was great for a long time with my second, but caused a huge amount of pain to one of my shoulders with my third. Same carrier - I guess I'm just getting older! The backpack carrier worked much better after that, as it distributes most of the weight across the hips.
This time I hope to get a soft structured carrier - I'm hoping that allows a little more closeness and a wider age range than the backpack carrier, while putting more of the weight on the hips than the MT.
We did find a Kelty Kids backpack in excellent condition at a thrift store for $10, and I suspect DH will use that a lot, though I'd like to get the SSC in a pattern that we're both willing to use, too.
I'm ambivalent on this sentiment. My homemade mei tai was maybe a quarter of the cost of similar carriers, and I got a lot of good use out of it. If you happen to already have appropriate materials in your stash, it's obviously even cheaper. However, designing them ergonomically is definitely a learning curve. I'm not sure how much of my above-mentioned problem is inherent to mei tais, and how much is poor design on my part. I refused to make one for my SIL when she tried to commission one from me because I think other people do a much better job!
My Maya Wrap is much more comfortable than the WAHM-made ring sling I had with my first, which was, no kidding, made of linen and yak wool - the fabric was awesome, but the weight distribution somewhat less so. I'm inclined to stick with well-established brands now.