Is it worth the trouble?

I read frequently of time consuming and energy sapping exercises by various members who are in quest of a vague sonic ideal. At the same time, I see reference to the point of diminishing returns in regard to pricing of equipment. Is there a point of diminishing returns which would apply to efforts? Is it really worthwhile to spend an entire weekend evaluating the relative sonic merits of several plating metals? Wouldn't you rather just enjoy what you have?
Metal plating evaluation is too much for me but, to each his/her own.
Evalauting equipment and assessing sound are pleasures distinct (though related) from enjoying the music. I enjoy both. One is focused process (fidelity, reproduction), the other is results (music, listening). Two different forms of entertainment. I don't think the hobby is about simply enjoying what you have.
One thing I've learned from Audiogon is that there is a large contingent of audiophiles who really like evaluating equipment. I've always thought that evaulating and setting up components is the absolute worst part of the hobby, but that's just my opinion. Even now I don't really understand why these people enjoy "critical listening", but I've grown to respect their efforts.
I guess that is true, there are very basically 2 types of people on this forum, the hobbyists, who enjoy revolving equipment in and out of their system, evaluating the gear, and then there are the people who have built a very capable system, and are just "enjoying what they have" i think i fall more into the latter category.
Why listen to music when you can listen to equipment for differences which would elude the "golden eared" in a DBT on their own gear in their own room?
Beautifully put Onhwy61. Sometimes I read threads with members asking questions about burning in IC cables or which 12 gauge power cord they should buy for their cdp and I think what are these people listening for. I want to respond with "time for a reality check." It's nothing to me how people want to spend/waste their time/money so I refrain. I consider myself in the middle leaning more torward less changes. But the bug still bites once in a while and changes must be made, can't help it.
I was going to start a thread titled "is it time for a reality check?" but am too lazy to put my thoughts together. Maybe if I get bored later on.
I've always felt that "critical listening" was a euphemism for seeking faults and weaknesses. Do people ever engage in "critical listening" from a positive perspective? It seems to me that it is always about finding faults.
He who is looking for something to like and he who is looking for something to dislike will both search successfully.
People who change components on a regular basis get stuck with this way around it.

"To spend an entire weekend evaluating the relative sonic merits of several plating metals?" some names so we can laugh at them.

"Do people ever engage in "critical listening" from a positive perspective? It seems to me that it is always about finding faults."

I've done both, but waaaaayyyyy more of the positive since getting Intuitive Design Summits. I reviewed them here, and what happens is that I think of something I said in the review that sounds too good to be true even to ME. So I do a "reality check" listening to them again, and always end up just smiling. It's a very good feeling.

Although I am extremely picky about sonics, I AM capable of sitting back and enjoying the music and prefer to do so instead of doing multiple "tests." Evaluating the equipment is necessary and sometimes KIND of fun, but it's a means to an end, not the main reason I listen at all. Evaluating equipment as a PRIMARY pursuit is what smart, wise and patient people like Duane and Steve, my dealers, are for.
anal retentiveness in audio is sometimes alarming
I do enjoy critically listening when I'm upgrading components - that can be fun - on material I know well

but soon enough I'll just want to dive into things
and enjoy the music

I have a friend with a record shop
he says all the audiophiles have no taste in music
sometimes I agree