The best success I had with starting my own tomatoes from seed was when I planted them directly into the garden. I put the seed in at about the second week of April. I am in zone 6b, so it was our annual 'warm up' to the 60's. (F.) I cut the bottoms off of two liter bottles of cola and kept the lids on, making my own cloches (cheap and free after you or someone else drinks the cola). I took the lids
the closches) during the day as long as the temperature stayed above 50 F., then put them back on as soon as shade hit the garden. This will work if you have the time and self-discipline to be out in the garden at least two or three times a day for a few minutes. The seeds must be kept moist, of course, so that means taking off all of the cloches to water two or three times a day until they've gotten some good roots, then at least one good soak a day until they're a little older. Your only way around it is a soaker hose. I was able to take the cloches off once the temps stayed above 45 or 50 degrees F. at night, and the tomatoes were nice little plants, about 6 weeks. Doing this I was able to 1) have any type of tomatoe that I wanted without being slave to the local nursury, and 2) Have homegrown organic tomatoes just as early as my SIL, who bought hers at the nursury, and then lost most of them to disease, while the rest were sub-par. She ended up taking a lot of mine!
I don't actually eat the tomatoes, I make sauce out of them and I give a lot away. I love the pleasure I get from growing them (Look, honey! Me and God made a Tomatoe!), and from seeing how happy people are when they receive them as gifts (this is especially so when they find out that they are organic). So it may sound like a lot of work, but for people with no room inside to start seed, or those with not enough light, or who don't want to replant, this WILL work if you do it right.