Obviously a person has a perfect right to buy whatever he or she wants or can afford, but do other bass amatuers feels a need to constrain what they spend? Personally, I will soon pick up a G&L Tribute or possibly a MM SUB and I think that since I'm a competent, but not pro-level player (no sight reading, not much for jazz changes, etc.) I don't need an instrument any more expensive than what I'm about to get. In the past, I owned some pretty high end basses like Ken Smiths, Spectors, Moduluses, etc. and I think that owning such high-end basses sometimes made me a butt of jokes because there tends to be an assumption of great ability, if one owns such pro-level basses. I don't want to sound like I'm inept, I am a perfectly competent r&b, funk, or rock bassist with a good ear and decent knowledge of theory, however, when you whip out a Sadowsky, Fodera, Ken Smith, etc. you better be studio ready in my opinion. I know I could study more, but I have pretty demanding full-time job and a family, and at this point in my life, bass is more about relaxation and pleasure instead of work. Still, I think that I am more comfortable with the low to mid range end of quality instruments. I don't want to look like the musical equivalent of the golfer with a $400 driver who can barely hit it 200 yards.