It probably stems from our pasts, gathered around the fire, comparing flintknapped tools and arrow heads, comparing basket weaves and pottery, and all the trades in between to "upgrade" to something newer and hopefully better from another person, group, or a whole other region through long trade routes.

Technology makes us who we are in a sense, being able to utilize tools, and understanding their methods of application. Some would say its in our nature.

I'm pretty guilty of this, reading reviews, testing, taking things apart and figuring out how they work, always on the search for new things and more information online and in books. Photography is probably one of the few fields I think you can blindly stumble around, and with enough persistence get results, but why do that when we live in such times where so much information is easily accessible and much of it for free.

It's good to utilize what you have, and really learn it, but only you can say at what point you have really understood it. I guess the best thing is to try and live within your means, and understand photography is and will be a money pit, and you have to judge if it's worth it all. and sometimes it's not always about the results, but the process and trip there that really counts.