Do you think that managed hosting is too costly ? I used to enjoy that host do it all in some hosting packages. Some of them are insanely pricey but very reliable. That is what you call peace of mind and the price for it.
I think hiring a part time system admin is much less costlier. I have worked with someone who handles the system admin part for a hosting company. Poor fellow, he was too serious even for a pep talk. Maybe because he is billed in hours.