Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post

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.
I wasn't really addressing the question of credit card interest. That all depends on how quickly the buyer can pay it off- 12% interest, or even 21% interest, is a relative moot point if you're going to pay the thing off in say 3-6 months. If you're carrying the debt for multiple years, then yes, it's stupid.

I'll amend my original statement then to say "buy the best you can afford", and not carte-blanche "buy the best". Like buying a Rolls or a Rolex or even a Leica or Hasselblad, all mechanical things require service to keep them running properly. It doesn't matter that you can afford the entry price - don't buy it if you can't afford the upkeep. Not as big a deal per se with cameras, which unless used heavily (or very rarely) don't require much upkeep, other items do require EXPENSIVE routine servicing. For example, there are quite a few vintage Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles (in good working order) available out there for under $25K, about what I paid for my brand-new Honda Accord. But if you should need routine service on the suspension, well, Rolls-Royce designed their suspensions to require a proprietary tool. The servicing, which is recommended every 50,000 miles or so, costs over $1000 per wheel, and must be done at the Rolls dealer (note the proprietary tool). Rolex recommends a servicing every 3-4 years, which costs nearly $1000.

Please note that I own neither of the above brands of product - they're just cited as examples, point being take into consideration ALL the costs of owning something before buying it.