You've asked a question that you already know (justifiably) the answer to. You've struck the mother lode (APUG) of photographic geekdom!
Actually, I think that the average APUGer's obsession with gear rather is rather low when compared to other forums. Yes, we talk a lot about gear and techniques, and sometimes very fanatically so, but have you been to other (digital) photography forums recently? I joined a certain forum recently where the main focus lies on rangefinder cameras (), and the expensive-gear-talk-versus-good-photographs-posted ratio is just staggering.
As for myself, I let others do the testing, then profit from their results to pick out the things I need. Thank you, geeks of the earth!
And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"