You're only 5 months and 33 posts in on your SF membership. A post like yours is usually at the 2 year mark or so (assuming everyone starts from the same point which, obviously, isn't true). Regardless, now you're talking
Take a good look at Torino - I think they're a great choice at the intersection of best-bang-for-the-buck. More expensive than the retail stores? Yes, probably by 40-50%'ish. But will last 10x longer and look/wear a heck of a lot better along the way. It's almost a no brainer once you establish the fact that the $20-$50 department store stuff is all crap.
Since I was in your shoes a couple of years ago, here's a recent SF thread on "who makes the best belts": http://www.styleforum.net/t/236145/who-makes-the-best-belts/0_100
Oh, and I'll save you some reading; if you want a belt that is all yours, practically a work of art, and created by a true artisan, check out Mark Kelty : http://www.mkelty.com/
Thank you for your kind words! I've gotten so fed up with the useless...stuff...I've accumulated over the years that from now on, it's quality over quantity. Thanks for that belt thread; I'm going to check it out.
I don't know where or when, but for some reason, "mkelty" sounds familiar. I never would have thought alligator would be my thing, but some of that leather is much more subtle looking than I imagined it would be. Something to keep in mind for the distant future...
Best Regards :D