Well with the amount of points I have accumulated I would like to get something respectable for the investment of the time not getting a first choice when I could have paid $33 for a tag instead of $500. I was saving up for a 201 hunt to get a "trophy". But to your question of what am I looking for, I know what the reality is of Colorado versus the idea many have of what a trophy is. A bull in the 320 or better class I guess would be ideal.
The Guide issue is simply because I want to be on a good lease or far enough back in to have a good chance and since i am 1500 miles away now I can't scout it and do it self-guided realistically. So if I am going to have to pay a service I might as well get a good one and let them do their job and focus on being a good and prepared client, while relaxing and taking it all in.
Try to put your tree stand in a tree with plenty of background cover, keep the prevailing winds for that time of the year to your face, and take care of those pesky squeaks and creaks your stand may have developed while sitting in the shed. A good treestand lube can be made by heating petroleum jelly until it reaches a liquid form. Some hunters have reported success by including a cover scent in this mixture before applying it to their stands.