Are you Guys Rich or What!?

I have an old system, nothing special, Adcom, Vandersteens etc and I recently set foot for the first time in a "high end" shop, hoping to get to the next level of audio nirvana. When I saw some of the prices for monoblock amplifiers, cables, the latest speakers etc, I practically fell off my chair when I realized that I could blow $50-100K pretty easily on this stuff. I am not rich. Do you big budget system guys all work on Wall Street or something or do you eat macaroni and cheese most nights to put a few bucks away for CDs and your next upgrade?
Trickle down is the key. Remember when B&W came out with the Nautilus speaker? Then they trickled that technology down to their 800 series, and I see it is even now into the 600 series (I think). I let the big boys blow all their money on top of the line so the company will pass the technology down and I can afford the lower end stuff. It's all relative though. 2k for the N805? I wouldn't think too hard about it, but I know many that would. It's a hobby, do what makes you happy. If it makes you happy to have the latest technology as soon as it appears, more power to you. Me, I'm looking to pick up a Conrad Johnson preamp made in 1984.
I agree - stay away from the leading edge, read magazines from two years ago as though they're current, get all excited about what they're raving about and go buy it...used. Stay behind the curve and you'll have all the fun for a lot less money, missing out only on bragging rights.

I found a great way to do this is to have your world turned on it's ear for 18 months or so. Have some personal, professional and national crises all strung together, completely distracting you from whatever you think you want to buy, and come back 18 months later still thinking you want the same thing. The price will be VERY reasonable at this point. You buy the stuff, put it all together, have a fabulous system and imagine that the calendar is rolled back 2 years - you then have a state of the art system that costs mega $$$, only you didn't spend mega $$$. If you pull this off correctly, you get 99% of the thrill with about 33% of the financial pain. -Kirk

If $7500 MSRP will get you a great system, think what you can do by buying all your stuff off of audiogon.

It could cut the price in half or it could allow you the option of purchasing more equipment/dollar.
Kthomas, you said it! Especially true with the digital gear!!!
I have read this thread as a "new" person with some interest and it seems to me there will be a permanent loop. What is one mans penny is another mans pound. The whole issue is subjective, I am sure that noone here doubts that 100k on music equipment in most contexts is irrational but we justify it because it brings us pleasure and in a world where that particular commodity is getting hard to come by, prices like taxes go up. I for one will always enjoy the reproduction of good music but will again do it by looking for those elusive deals. When your ten year old sits next to you identifying various instruments and presence that is justification enough for me.