This is a silly hobby.

So, I bought honey a new laptop Friday night. Lots of memory and a big hard-drive, $534. Then I remembered that I'd also ordered a new pair of speaker cables, $578. Just in terms of relative usefulness this seems absurd. Needless to say, I won't be explaining this to my tolerant yet incredulous wife.

I'm just sayin'.
Foster_9: If I felt as you do, I would stop spending money. For many others however, the hobby yields a great deal of joy at any level of expenditure.
I think this hobby has a pretty good bang for the buck factor provided one doesn't do anything stupid, like buying the $10,000 pre amp that just showed up on the cover of Sterophile at full retail. If you buy used and let the other guy take the depreciation hit you can sell it for close to the same price years later. So the net investment isn't too bad, although it's not very liquid these day.
hey $578 is not that bad compared to somebody who spends $4,000 on a limited edition montegrappa fountain pen thats a silly hobby collecting fountain pens!
which by the way you guys forgot to mention!!! hehehe
Well, my speakers cables cost more than my wedding band. My amplifier costs more than my wife's wedding ring. I'm not sure any audio expenditure can be quantified.

If you really want to grimace, think of the money you've spent on automobiles, and the fuel to drive them!

Grimace.....$578 for speaker cables??? They must be crap!!! Everyone knows you can't get decent speaker cables for under $5K. ;D