I'm totally new to web site development and thought I'd toss out my question to far more seasoned veterans. I'm curious as to the development expertise required for building a web 2.0, modular site like Squidoo?
What would the cost be to hire a developer with this expertise and what would be the expected time line? It wouldn't have to be as sophisticated, but users would need to the ability to use around 10 different modules to design their own page.
I imagine it is challenging, but honestly, given my lack of experience I really wouldn't know. Thanks in advance.
No one's going to be able to give you an exact answer (or even a moderately close answer) without some more details.
If by "modular" you mean the design/aesthetics, then any decent web designer/developer can pull it off. If you just want a regular website (I recommend building off the Wordpress platform, or Drupal), general market pricing should be anywhere from $500-$5,000, depending on the exact features you want.
On the other hand, if by "modular" you're referring to functionality--e.g., you want to build a community site, where users can login to their profile and make all sorts of custom changes--then you're talking a lot of money.