Yes, in my younger days I factored in the status of my gear somewhat, to friends and family.
Then I grew up and no longer give a rats what others think of my gear. Most of the gear out there that people think is great, is pure audiophile equiptment. And to me, I find too much wrong with the sound of most components on the market today.
Not to bad mouth people and their listening prefernces, but two of the worst engineered products I've heard that audiophile's generally rave about are Thiel and Avalon speakers. And yet I can't make it thru one song with either brand.