Two recent postings have had me ruminating about some of the positives of having an Internet in our lives. As much as Ancestry.com and the rest don't particularly help me, these web sites have forced the average record depository to step up their services in order to remain relevant. Even if only half the people believe that "it's all on the Internet" you've possibly lost half your traffic. There was a time when depositories, whether public or private, could force you to come to them--they were the only games in town then--but now, they seem to be more solicitous of genealogists and researchers.
One post was about the valuable records being added in England. By now most people know that the National Archives there have the PCC Wills online and downloadable for a fee. Remember that £3.50 is much less that plane trip to London (although not as much fun). Within the last two years, I used the Wiltshire Archives at Swindon (which includes Hampshire as well), which has a searchable database for wills in those two counties other than PCC wills. Remember that most counties have at least two additional jurisdictions for probate other that the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. I acquired the will of Christopher Gardiner (1643) that way in order to prove his daughter Mary married Thomas Dowse. Quite reasonably priced and I received a paper copy.
The other post is about dealing with distant depositories. There are two things to understand about these places. One is doing the research for you, which they probably won't do. The other is document delivery, which they probably will do. So, when I contacted the PRONI about a document they had, they gladly made a digital copy and sent it to me via email. The key was I didn't ask for them to do research on my Lawrence family. I said I need, such and such and gave them the specifics from their own catalog.
So, as much as you can, narrow down what it is that you need. You may not need to travel to get it. You should be prepared to pay something for such services, so don't be cheap!! Just this week while working I ran into a cheap genealogist and I wanted to slap her silly. But I was good and I held back.