I found this site today and the "well" page is pretty interesting.
It talks about driving your own 80 foot well with a wooden hammer or a post pounder. And it explains the different type of wells and how to dig them. But I found this homemade hand pump the most interesting.
It is made of some hose adapters and a brass ball. It acts as a check valve. This goes down in the well and is attached to some stiff UV resistant irrigation hose. When you pull it up and down it starts pumping water. It may take a lot of effort the first time you set this up but after that it is much quicker because it doesn't lose its prime. I estimate about 50 strokes per gallon.
Also, even if you are going to use an electrical pump, this manual pump still comes in handy for when you first dig the well. It allows you to clear out the sand and silt very quickly.
This type of pump will work for years and doesn't require maintenance. Pretty impressive for just a few bucks at the hardware store. Looks like it would be great for emergencies or for off grid water pumping.