In the US at least quality tattoos, while expensive, are nowhere near THAT expensive. I have none but my girlfriend does and is in the process (two sittings will be required and she's done one) of getting a large shoulder piece which will cost a total of about $400 from one of the best artists in Atlanta. No reputable artist here, and I know several, is going to tattoo you with ink you bring yourself. Way too much liability.
I know people who have regretted them and people who have had them for decades and don't. Its a very personal thing.
It is not uncommon that people who warn about regretting tatoos several years down the road don't actually have one, or if they do, they didn't think it through before getting inked. My tattoos mark transitions in my life. I've had my tats for 18 years and they are just part of me. I can't imagine them not being there. I'd hate to try to think about my skin not being there. It would be like imagining my face without my nose or my eyebrows. I'd feel like something important was missing.
If you ask me, and I could be wrong, a tatoo should be about you. Something about your nature, not about your passions. If a tattoo is right for you, you'll know it. When it is, then to hell with what anyone else thinks. Do it.
I have a photo tattoo and am very happy with it; I've had it for about 2.5 years now. I wanted to go with something more abstract, and not worry if other people had no idea what it was. I've attached a picture below, but for anyone wondering it's the shape of a hasselblad negative (to 1:1 scale).