$5000 to spend....

....Bad news is I got laid off... Good news is I got a nice check for unused vacation time. I'm putting most of it towards a rainy day, but if I were to spend $5000 of it on "improving" my system, how would it best be spent? Is there one component that should be upgraded? Or, should I divvy up the money and put it towards a couple of components? Of course, there are those 2003 Bordeaux and Sauternes futures to consider.. :-)
Actually, save your cash ... it may take longer than you think to land a new gig. You have a really nice system ... now you have some extra time to enjoy it. If you MUST spend the money ... wait until you land a new gig and then, take off an extra month before you start. The $5 G's (actually $10 G's pre-tax) will pay for an extra month's worth of mortgage, utilities, food, something nice for your wife, and some new CD's/records. I have walked this same road 3 times since 1980 ... it's less fun each time.

Regards, Rich
I agree with Rarl...

Save the cash and hunker down. Good positions are not easily found these days. I've been out of business for 5 months and no real prospects. Listen to some tunes to help pass the days.

Good luck,
Ditto: Buy a treadmill and improve your health.
Peeps keep saying the economy is going to bounce back.
I don't see it. Unless we come up with a new source of clean cheap energy (like fusion) we are slowly but surely sliding towards the global standard of living.
My line of work (mainframe computing) was moved offshore
so some CEOs could have bigger bonuses.
You've been hit also. Who will be next?
And the beat goes on...
You guys all make a great deal of sense...perhaps too much! I agree with you, Dweller, about needing new energy sources.... and I do work on my health everyday (running, weights, etc.), so that's under control. So how about I step back a bit and think about new digital playback for less $$? ok, ok, I'll stop!
I'm in a somewhat similar situation although not totally w/o funds. Injured at work a little over a year ago & have been receiving WC since, so at least the bills are being paid. The kicker is I just found out a few weeks ago I can't go back to my job due to the weight restrictions & I just had my first meeting with a "specialist" to find a new "career". I'm due some money (8.5k) that I loaned my brother & am leaning towards a DAC (~3k) for my next upgrade. The rest will go to my Roth/savings for this year & then I'm back to square one.

What makes my situation tolerable is I (we) have no debt other than the house & even that is no biggie, so what I'm getting at here is for anybody who likes to buy audio or autos or whatever that is expensive is not to go into debt over it. It took me 12 yrs. to clear up my debt & although my credit was & is perfect, I knew I was only a few paychecks away from trouble.

If your finances are in good shape & the money you are contemplating for an upgrade could also be used for an investment that you could risk taking a big hit on (read buy upgrade then have to sell at 70% loss) then by all means get it & don't look back. If after thinking this through you have doubts then of course don't venture into these waters. The old "Let me sleep on it" actually comes in handy in these instances.

Bottom line is this is supposed to be a fun hobby but if there are conditions that cause uncertainty/trepidation, then steer clear & make sure to keep it a positive experience.
All good advice.

I was unemployed for almost a year. Living in the Silicon Valley and working knee-deep in technology start-ups, I got hit hard when the bubble burst. Whoa be to those who get burned by the latest bubble - real estate! But I digress.

You might be surprised by how long it takes to find something "suitable".

As it was, I ended up taking a job that I didn't love after almost a year of being unemployed just to keep food on the table. I sold the house and moved to a less expensive area. And I was only making 1/5th of my previous salary.

Only now, (3 1/2 years later) am I doing something that I love. Even still, it's in a totally new field and it'll probably be another 3-5 years before I'm making what I used to.

The economy has been improving, but remember that past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. There's a whole lotta' potentially choppy water ahead, so proceed with the utmost caution.
Please save your cash. My current low cost recommendation to amaze yourself with the "hidden potential" of your present system involves a micro purchase of Walker Audio SST contact enhancer, which I first "heard" in the Lloyd Walker suite during the recent NYC Home Entertainment Show.
Makes excellent items, like your Gregg Straley wiring, even better. Even the highest end wiring seemed to benefit at the show. Your entire system will sound better, and you won't have to strain to hear the upgrade.
Never underestimate the peace of mind gained with significant amount of cash still left in the bank.
Good luck getting over this bump in the road.
Have some trip to Jamaica!
They have a very nice puff-stuff pure and natural.
Smoke Joint, Drink Rum, Score, Score, Score... etc...
Ain't nothing's more pleasant than feel a freedom dude!
Listener...I think I'll follow that suggestion... thanks!

Marakanetz... you are obviously a wise man and are speaking from considerable experience!! :-))))
Having a degree in Economics...I too add my vote for saving...at least you're not refinancing your house in order to buy a pair of speakers like someone I saw recently do here...just my 2c.

ditto on the walker SST. I just painted my headphone setup. Whoa! talk about new clarity. not sure if it was the sst or the detox contact cleaner, but holy cow man. the downside is your lose high frequencies for about 5 hours, but after a while it'll break in and better than before. Whoa.
Come on CPdunn. Save the cash. This sounds like getting a refund check from the Gov't after taxes and then spending it (after all is was money we gave to the gov't interest free that we could have used throught the prior year!)
OK, so where do I get this Walker sst stuff?

Umalum.... I hear you loud and clear, friend!!! Instead of audio equipment, I've decided to buy a few bottles of 2001 Sauternes. Should set me back about $250-300, rather than 5 grand!
I believe Audiogon member Tpsonic can have Walker Audio SST shipped to you at a reasonable cost, or he (Tom) can tell you who to contact to obtain any Lloyd Walker product. If you look at his system, posted here on Audiogon, you get more than a hint about his audiophile credentials.
Get Walker Audio SST direct from Walker Audio:

Or the usual mail order suspects:
Acoustic Sounds
Music Direct
thanks everyone... I've cooled off!! whew, that was close. Instead of dropping that cash, I spend just a few hundred dollars to buy my s/o a wine refrigerator and stocked it with some nice bottles. Her pleasure and surprise was worth that $5000!