Cable Costs Relative to System

Since making a spread sheet with my audio system prices, I have been thinking(shocked) about my total investment in cables. My total system retails at $67,000 (Digital and analog front ends included). I purchased all of it here on Audiogon so my investment is about 50%. Of that I have about 10% invested in interconnects and cables and another 10% in Power Cables (Shunyata Hydra included). That's $13,000 worth of wire. I'm starting to question whether it might be more effective to put some of this budget into acitve components. It would take forever to listen to all possible combinations, but would like to hear others experiences with relatively high end systems and cable selection. It would seem to me that the point of diminishing returns would be reached sooner with cables than with speakers and amps. Do most of you follow the 10% "rule" for cabling? How do PCs fit into this rule? Are there any super bargain cables capable of keeping up with highly resolving electronics?
My friend bought Honda Civic and he just loves this car. He believes that there is no correlation at all between performance/quality and the price. I told him that quality difference between Rolls-Royce and his Honda Civic is pretty much the same as between Honda Civic and a Yugo.

Wouldn't you agree that there is SOME correlation between price and sound of cables - or is it completely random and things like purity of metal, capacitance, inductance etc. are not important at all. Can good sounding cable be made of dirtiest, cheapest copper (copper oxide is a semiconductor)?
I find a greater difference between cables and powercords then between components (up to a point). Example I have found a 3k interconnect that makes a greater net difference then going from a 3k pre amp to a 6k pre amp. In fact cables and power cords can allow a system to image in a way that no amount of money spent on electronics can achieve! I'd say 1/3 of a system should be invested in cables. Not sure where the 10% rule came from, but I just don't hear the same improvement between say a 2.5k amp and a 6k amp with cheap cables as when that extra money is spent upgrading the cables. Seeking performance upgrades thru component upgrades is far more expensive then experimenting with cables.
Just thought i'd check and see what's up after "dropping out" of the scene for several years. Coming up on 9 years since this thread was started and not much has changed. Mostly still a matter of personal preference based on system synergy from what i'm seeing here. Since the owner of the system is the only one that has to be happy with what he spends or hears ( perceived or reality ), i guess that's all that matters. Sean
I make my own speaker cables using the same ingrediants as Kimber 8TC. Waste of money I did the cables, cones, cords and pucks. Put your money where it counts.
In order
2)speakers, 2)room treatment-2)speaker placement
3)-sub woofer
5)cd player
6)blue ray
7)speaker cables

Ooh, i think it`s hard, this cable quest! I didn`t now that i had spend more than 10% off my hole system in cables, before i sat down and thought about it. And is it worth it?????YES, i think it is. Over the last half year, iv`e have had the priviliges of trying a lot of different cables out there, in different price class. Acoustic Zen, Harmony Tech, Dyrholm Audio, Lavardin cables. I listening to these cables for a lot of hours, and i was in a position where i just could choose whatever i wan`t, regardles to price( they where all demo, so therefor cheeper)......I endeed up with AZ cables, wich is not an inexpensive cable, but value a lot for the money. I know some people think thats is crazy spending so much on cables. My interconnect cable between my Rega Saturn CD and my amplifier Lavardin IT cost almost the same as the Saturn, and iv`e have wondered if this maybe was a bit to much to offer for that cable, but no again. My set-up sounded nice to begin with, but after all the new cables it`s in a another ball game (much better). But soon i will try to unplug all these new cables, and getting back to where i started, just to listen to the (maybe) huge different( or not)???? Then i will write again!