I found that the best way to get noticed by search engines is when your site is linked to by other sites. The more you are 'networked' on the web, the more you will be noticed. I hastened that process with my website by posting a link in the signature here on lawnsite. Every time you post, your site will be linked to, on every page. That boosts your visibility immensely.
As far as paying to have your website listed on search engines, why bother? You can do that yourself for free, and really, how many search engines do people use? Google, Lycos, About.com, etc. There aren't that many. Listing with every podunk search engine is a waste of time, and paying for that service is a waste of money.