So, how do you, a guy who has never been arrested before, know that public defenders are a “freakin joke”? Let me guess, you took the word of someone who is not a lawyer and really doesn't understand what lawyers do, right? Well, contrary to popular myth, most public defenders are very competent, and some of them are the best lawyers a defendant could hope get at any price. They have large case loads and cannot hold your hand through the process like a private lawyer, but then you are not paying private lawyer fees, either.
Public defenders are lawyers, and went through 3 years of law school, passed the bar, and have experience trying criminal cases. They also know the local courts and prosecutors, and thus what kinds of plea agreements might be possible. Do you really think that you would be better off representing yourself? That’s kind of like saying you’d be better off flying a plane with zero experience than riding in a plane flown by a licensed pilot. Maybe you could do it, but more likely you'd crash and burn. Frankly, if I were in your shoes and I could get a public defender, I’d take that in a heart beat.