Others has said, "it's different for each of us", I couldn't agree more and I might say, most of us change over time, as our own circumstances change.
Based on the scenario given, I live next door to the Boulder elk unit, so my accompaniment might be far different than someone that lives in Minnesota and has never set foot on the unit. It might vary again, if I'd never shot a mature bull elk before, in as much as my current desire would be much different than it was before I'd killed a couple. If I decided to, I could afford a guide, but I don't have tons of discretionary money, so because I've killed a few and because I live next to the unit, I'd rather use the money for something else, than kill a bull that might or might not be 20 or 30 inches larger than if I didn't hire a guide and went with my family or alone.
I had a few experiences, that are pretty much how I've done things, over the last 50 years.
After 19 or 20 years of applying for a Utah shiras moose, I drew. My son, that does a fair amount of hunting, lives on the unit I drew. He knew where the moose on the unit were frequently found, so I invited two sons, three grandsons, and two good friends, with five head of horses, and off we went. Had a great time, killed a nice bull and hauled him to camp in a torrential rain. It was a "once in a life time tag and a once in a life time experience". Everyone that was part of the "posse" had a great time and when we are together, something about those three days together get's discussed.
I applied for nine years for points, for Wyoming antelope hunt. I'd have killed five or six in my life, and I wanted to build points, for my senior years, and have one last antelope. I wanted try to get something bigger than I'd killed before. On MM I made contact with another member who had, over his years of antelope hunting in Wyoming, learned a great deal about which area in the State he could hunt some "better than average" antelope, at least, he had taken some very nice antelope in recent years. We applied together and drew. I was expecting to hunt alone or with one family member but as the hunt dates approached, the gentlemen that I had applied with offered to hunt the same week I was planning to hunt, so we meet there, for the first time, and hunted together. He knew, far better than I, a large antelope, from an average antelope, and he pointed out numerous better than average antelope and after three days of "observing" some very nice antelope, I killed an antelope that was actually larger than I had anticipated, when I applied for the hunt. The next day my MM friend killed his. I had a great time, saw hundreds antelope. Made four new friends, all from four different States, one of which I am going lake trout fishing with at Flaming Gorge in two and half weeks. The other three send me e-mails of their hunting/fishing adventures on occasion. Each have very different personalities and divers interests and my life has been richer for having met each of them.
My son and I went to North West Territories to hunt caribou in 2000, nine local friend went with us over a two year period. North West Territories requires any non-resident to hire an outfitter/guide, so we of course did so. Our outfitter owned a camp on the tundra, with the guides, cook, taxidermist, tents, boats, and electric bear fence. We hunted, two hunters and one guide to a boat. We travelled by boat, over hundreds of miles of shoreline, stopping and hiking to various locations, and high spots, to glass for caribou. It wouldn't have been possible without the outfitter and the guides, because of the law, and the environment, motorized boats were the key factor and without the boats, it's very unlikely any caribou would have been killed. Besides the boats, the outfitters provided these things: the tents, the meals, and the location. So far as hunting, we didn't need them at all. In two years, of the nine different Utah hunters, no a single guide spotted a caribou before we do. Yes, the guides knew the lake, they knew where you could beach a boat, they knew how to get back to camp but as far as spotting game or knowing how to use optics, they were no better than anyone of our group and I guess I'd say, in every case, we found caribou as well or better than they did, including the Inuits and the local NWT Fish and Game employees, that were on vacation and guiding for the outfitter. We help gut and pack every caribou to the boat. Again, it was another hunt of a life time. But, in spite of being as good at seen caribou as our guides, we could not have done it without the outfitter, his equipment and the help of our guides. We had a fantastic trip, two years in a row. So, as much as I like to do my own hunting, unguided, there are times and places where they make it possible and I enjoyed those two caribou hunting trips as much as any hunt I've ever been on.
Never planned for it, but circumstances changed and I've been invited, by a son, to go on an African Safari it will be, of course, fully guided. I don't see that as much different from a sportsman from Wisconsin, drawing a Boulder or a Colorado 61 bull elk tag, regarding needing assistance, if we are going to have a successful hunt. For me to go to Africa, on my own, without a guide, I wouldn't have a clue how or where to start. How is that much different from someone from the east coming to the west? Or someone from the west going to the east, to hunt whitetail or turkeys, or the south to hunt gators or hogs? Or to Hawaii to catch marlin. Trip would be fun, but it's more fun if you bring home what you go after, at least it is for me. I don't need a hunting license to go sight seeing.
So...... in all due respect, to the original question, I don't think we should ever say, "I only do it this way or I only do that way", because it limits so very much adventures that you can and will have, if you stay open to any opportunity that presents itself, regardless of the circumstance.
Over the years I have had no interest or desire to kill a high fence whitetail, but at this stage in my life, if someone came along and afforded me a chance at a mega monster whitetail, on a high fence hunt in Texas, the midwest or an eastern State, and money wasn't an issue, I'd do it, in a New York minute, and I'd love every second, start to finish.
Opinions are like elbows, huh, we all got a couple of'em.