What's easier, buying something shiny and expensive, or working for however long it takes to create music that sounds great? You all know the answer. How many times on the web do you see a picture of some newb's very expensive rig, and then listen to the execrable clip the guy produced and posted, and shake your head at the waste of money. I have a friend who has a couple of grammies and an oscar to his credit, and recently worked in his studio with a vocalist under contract to his company for a commercial project. The guy can buy whatever he wants, if he cares to. I guess he cares to buy other stuff than fancy-ass recording gear. So what is his rig? A few nice mics, some good preamps, a PT setup, and a relatively old Mackie 8 bus with a couple of sidecars. Turns out he's produced zillion sellers on the Mackie, and he could give a rat's ass about studio bling. He buys what he needs to buy for his work, and the work is the thing. The guy is a monster player, and can write and produce in any style. His tracks scream, "major label production". The sound he gets is terrific. Because it's about his music, not about the gear. I realize this is the Gear Page, and all, and that's cool, I'm fine with it, but from time to time I think it's too easy to become attached to the bling and miss the point. Just my 2 cents.