Soon after getting into this game a few years ago, I realized how quickly it could get out of control. The fix for me was to aim for higher end gear. I simply don't need any $8 pair of bookshelf speakers, no matter how good they are. Or $12 CD players. Or $40 receivers. The pieces I aim for now fetch $300-1000 on the used market, and keeping that in mind is enough let me pass on lower valued gear.