I think Pete, your throwing computers into the discussion is really on point. If we all think back for a moment--at least all of us who are over the age of 20
--to the amount of $ we have spent on computers, and their related paraphernalia, now that's truly crazy. And I'm not even talking as a tech like Pete, who is expected to know the latest and greatest stuff.
My first web-ready PC, printer, & initial software was around $4,000 in 1998. I bought it just before starting grad school. That one lasted about 5 years, and then I needed another one. By then the prices had come down a bit. Oh, but by then I was also needing a laptop, so then I had 2 computers that needed to be replaced roughly every 5 to 6 years.
Fast forward to today, I have one really good laptop (just <$2,000), but now add to that a tablet and a smart phone. These are just expenses that we just expect to spend $ on, and we know that are going to be tossed ever 2 or so years (smart phones & tablets), or 5 years (laptops). That's just freakin' nuts.
So a conservative estimate would be that if add up all the hardware and software monies that I have spent since 1998, I'd be close to $15K. Now for that $ I could have bought a really beautiful Selmer or JK that will outlast all these electronic things
that we know we will be disposing of. Yet we have worries about spending $ on electronics, knowing that they will be obsolete. Why?
Obviously it's gotten to the point that it would be hard to function in the world without connectivity, and I'm not suggesting that we unplug. My point however, is that this connectivity has changed our mindset to the degree that we don't have an issue with spending the amount of $ we do on disposable electronics, yet complain that the costs of handmade, long-lasting, high quality musical instruments has gone up. We balk at spending $10K on a sax that will last our lifetime, but think nothing of dropping $2K on a computer that will see the recycling depot in 5 years.
In any event, I would just like to finish this rant
with what I often say: Just be thankful that we are not string bass or cello players. Have you priced those instruments lately? Or checked high quality bows? They make our high end saxes and MPs look the flea market specials. I'm just saying....