Noop, I use a chisel for my engraving. The machines available today are great for lettering, logos, and such but it doesn't have the same "life" that hand engraving has, especially on scrolls and animals. Hand cut work has lines that vary in width and depth which creates a much more interesting and life-like look.
The cost will vary depending on the amount of coverage, style of scroll and the complexity of the design. The engraver's experience and reputation will also affect the price. Someone that is just starting out may charge $300 for something that one of the top engravers in the country would charge $3000 to do. If the beginner does quality work and builds his reputation, the value of his work will go up which can make a very good investment but there is some risk involved. The well known engraver will create an instant investment but you will have to pay more upfront. If you're not concerned with investments, you're best bet is to find someone that does work that you like and talk to them about your project.
A great resource to find engravers is www.fega.com . Just look under "Engravers & Photos"