Yes, my wife and I built our 1,500 sq.ft. house on 2.5 acres of land just 6 years ago. My father-in-law was the builder (along with some of his buddies). I actually did a lot of the work myself in order to save money.
I probably wouldn't hire him to do it again because we have no warranty and anytime something came up that needed to be fixed then we paid to get it fixed. A regular builder would be obligated to fix some of the issues; however, since he is family we didn't ask him to fix it for fear it will cause a strain on the relationship.
As far as estimates. Yes, he gave us an estimate and it ended up being much higher than we were told.
I would have no worries about hiring a respected builder, but I have learned....NEVER have family build your house
Good things: We got to choose our own paint, carpet, flooring, appliances, accessories, tub, shower, deck, etc.