Also, sometimes the best stuff for personal use is what you need - like that Kitchenaid mixer from Goodwill for 10 bucks that we ended up keeping. We had no intention of spending $$$ for one of those and were making do with other things - and then bam. I think there's a few guys in this thread who have complete audio setups founded on this principle.
I don't have an amazing system by an means but I've relied completely on thrift store finds to assemble my stereo system, slowly upgrading as I find better stuff. Haven't spent more than $30 for a piece of stereo equipment and I'm reasonably happy with what I have.