Purchasing my home was one of the greatest decisions I've ever made. In my area, I pay about 40% for my mortgage payment what the house next door rents for. Yes, I have occasional unforeseen costs, maintenance issues, and the expenses of a renovation/restoration but it has been entirely worth it. I'm finally at a place financially where I've been able to pawn off some of the less desirable jobs on professionals, which frees me up to take care of the things I enjoy doing.
I'm not going to try to defend the purchase with some sort of financial calculations or make some claim about a return on my investment, but I will say that I'd gladly pay nearly double each month for the pleasure that comes with no longer having to deal with my old landlord. As long as I keep the front yard clean, pay my mortgage on time, and keep the taxes up to date there's no one telling me what to do or how to do it (except the wife, which is one of the few decisions that out ranks the house).