I've been making homemade lox (technically gravlax, because I cure them only in salt and sugar, rather than curing them and
cold smoking them like nova lox) for the last year or so and have really been enjoying the outcome. It's super easy to do, takes only 24-48 hours to cure, requires only a few ingredients, is really impressive with the guests, and best of all, costs 1/4 of what you'd spend on the same thing at the store!
I'm a California transplant from New York, and on the long list of delicious things that you can't get in California, including pizza, bagels, egg rolls and cold weather, is lox. In my opinion, ACME
nova lox from Brooklyn, NY is the king of all things appetizing. I grew up with the kid who stands to inherit the 4th generation business and have eaten the stuff all of my life. The only problem is, you rarely see it out here in Cali, and back home in Port Washington, NY, at Let There Be Bagels, the best appetizing (aka "spread") store around, nova costs $40.00 a pound!
Even if you've managed to keep your job through these crazy economic times, that's still a lot of hooch for some uncooked fish. As with many things DIY, there's an alternate, cheaper method that I'll share with you, which, in my humble New York Jew opinion tastes just as good, if not better than the full price cold smoked specialty store bought stuff.