Going independent has its advantages if you are ready to take the challenge.  Running your own business takes a certain initiative and provides many challanges that will be very rewarding.  These rewards include:  

You control your own destinity.  
You have the freedom to name and brand your own practice.
You have your own goals and work schedule.  You are no longer under corporate america's control.

Your payouts increase, from 25%-45% at the wirehouses to 70%-95% at the independent firms.  You have control over what expenses to incur to grow your business.

As a 1099 independent contractor, you enjoy all of the benefits of writing off your expenses against your firm's revenue to determine the net income.  The federal government are providing some attractive incentives for small businesses in the 2011 tax code, so you can be more competitive.  

Building Equity in your practice.  You now own your book and can sell it if you want to retire or get out of the business.  Your practice can be your biggest asset.

Book mobility:  If your Broker-Dealer doesn't live up to their end of the bargain, or if the needs of your practice no longer match that of the firm you can switch to another firm that is more suitable.

You can decide to keep your firm small or grow it to a larger size by recruiting other advisors and offering additional services.