I like to buy things at the dollar store for more or less obvious reasons being that they, generally, cost a dollar. So I've got 3 for a dollar forks and cups, bungee chords that never actually got used, a glass bowl, a pair of headphones, a few packs of gum, et cetera. So let me first focus on the bowl. It cost me one dollar, it cracked in the microwave during its first use. That was a poor investment and thankfully I wasn't locked in for a large sum. On a more topical note, after getting furious with another pair of 10+ dollar headphones that crapped out, I went for a dollar store pair of earbuds which short-circuited or something the first time I used them. Remarking to my roommate that I was peeved, having just opened the damn things, he replied (I might add, he having bought a pair of 10+ dollar headphones that left him satisfied and also warranteed against their malfunction): "well, that's why you shouldn't buy headphones at the dollar store". I shrugged, shook the things a few times, and, having overheard our conversation, the earbuds resumed their normal function and we've never been happier together.
Personally, I'd like to have only a few nice things and I hope that they'll be the sort of things I'll want to maintain. My father is an audiophile, and as such has a very high end stereo system that he very much adores. He takes care of it. Always lets it warm up before playing, goes through the ceremony of starting the amplifiers, then the whatevers, all in precise order to avoid some kind of bug or surge or electrical fire. A little while ago he needed a lot of help setting it up. I obliged, and unfortunately, I can't say I share his passion for the equipment. It's troublesome because he's suggested that it'll be mine if and when he's dead.
It seems like one of the worst things you can get is something expensive that you don't really care for because it'll always end up costing you more than it's worth. Whether it's the nice home that you can't be bothered to keep clean yourself or a camera that you won't bother to fix it all comes down to simple actuarial science. If something costs more to fix than it's worth then it's garbage. The trouble is that nice things are always more delicate, simply because they're more valuable. So the nicer something is, the more maintenance it requires and the more likely it is to break. Now when you consider the rate technology is growing at and the cost of gadgets now versus five years ago, I think I'll start doing all my shopping at the dollar store.