Lightning Protection / Brown Power?

I am new to 'better audio' but am learning fast. But one thing is bothering me, esp coming from an IT background where UPSs are required.
I understand clean power is a must and makes a big difference, even the cord.
I understand many of you use (and I recently purchased) audiograde Line Conditioners.
I understand common, even good full sine wave UPSs are not good enough for audio.
What I do not understand is
a) what you all do to protect $10K +++ of equipment from lightning surges and
b) temporary voltage dips, which cant be good for expensive equipment
or if
c) a line conditioner does all this
or if
d) the $2K line conditioner is just sacrificed in such a case
I currently don't have any power conditioner/surge protection and live in an area where a spike or surge happens, on average, once every 2-3 months. I have used Richard Grey,Audio Prism,PS Audio Ultimate Outlet and VansEvers.After several spikes with my vintage tube mono block amps on and my Naim cd player /power supply on ,I 've found that they could tolerate the spikes without any protection.
I've found that ALL these devices have altered the sound of my system ,especially the amps. While I could hear some improvement in 1 or 2 areas ,they also had a negative effect .Most notable was the PS Audio ultimate Outlet which greatly expanded my soundstage BUT at the expense of clarity in the midrange.
During the big blackout this past summer I had my system on and wasn't home for 2 days .When I finally was able to get back home all was well.If it could handle that load then why bother to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of equipment that will alter the sound in a measurable way.It's adding another varaible to the mix which,sooner or later, will be sold for yet another power conditioner with the promise of audio nirvana.I'd rather spend the $ on upgrading tubes,or buying music or inexpensive tweaking.
The precaution I do take is unplugging during a thunderstorm or when I'm on vacation.JMHO
I'll tell you what I do, naw, did,

Get specific with your insurance carrier. List all your gear with pricing. Get an agreement to replace it. Develop a relationship with a solid dealer who can work with the insurance company directly to settle any claim. It is the only real protection you can have. Lightning can get past almost any protective scheme and poor quality power is now becomming a norm in many areas. Moreover, with gear changing every year and companies comming and going, only a good dealer can help with replacement value. You need to be prepared for the worst so when it happens, you can mimimize the bummer.