Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
The logic to buying any "luxury" good is this: if you "invest" up front in a better quality item, it will last you much longer than the cheaper item, and in that sense pay for itself by not having to be replaced as often. I state "luxury" in quotes because quality and luxury are not interchangeable, although the cost of quality often makes something otherwise utilitarian a luxury. I have a set of Calphalon pots and pans - I got them close to 20 years ago because they will in all likelihood be the last set I buy - I may add to the set from time to time, but I will never NEED to replace them. Before, I had some non-stick pots and pans that the coatings were wearing through every couple to three years and had to be thrown out. The same logic goes with cameras - Hasselblads are for most people truly luxury items, but first and foremost they are workmens' tools. A wedding pro who shoots 20+ weddings a year and several hundred portrait sittings will wear one out in a decade. The average user who buys one, though, will probably die with it still in good working order. Same goes with vintage Leicas (and standard production Leicas... the fancy-pants collector Leicas are just flat-out luxury goods and not really meant to be used), Rollei TLRs, and most view cameras. Stainless steel Rolexes and Omegas are in that same camp - rugged, accurate timepieces that will outlast the original owner. THAT is your investment - something you can buy once and use forever without having to replace it. That degree of "luxury" spending is entirely justifiable because it pays for itself over time.
Scott,

You are quite right, I agree the most economy can usually be found in the highest quality, however componding credit card interest on that quality item as the OP proposes makes that economy a moot point, just as it will handily obliterate any appreciation. Giving $8000 for a $2000 camera (or whatever) doesn't sound like a very good investment to me.