When considering something you’re going to use, it is usually worth it to spend the extra money to get something of good quality. It’s worth paying a little extra to have that really nice chair, or the comfortable pants, or a warm coat.
But while price can be a reasonable surrogate for quality, it is not at all a direct measure. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s good. What you really have to consider is how the object suits your needs.
Take for example, the dining room table in an upscale house I was staying at some time ago. It is probably worth a fortune: it seems to be made of marble, and has a large marble lazy susan in its center. Very convenient for passing the what-have-you’s to the other side of the table without having to reach or get up.
But that’s not all a table is for. That rotating disc in the middle of the table is blocking some prime space. You can’t really spread out on it, nor, because of its weight, can you simply remove it. The material and the design of this table severely limits its range of uses, and thus restrict its utility. It’s not a great table if you want to spread out all your stuff and get some work done. Your stuff has to kind of spread out in a crescent from where you’re sitting, or else move a layer up. You can’t lay one big sheet flat on the table, because it has that big rotating bump in the way. And because the lazy susan is raised about half-an-inch above the main table surface, pens and pencils and all kinds of things can roll underneath and become inconvenient to retrieve. It isn’t just spoiling a big flat surface, it is stealing stationary, like that kite-eating tree in charlie brown! but the kite-eating tree I can abide. It is a tree carrying on its own business.
But the table was designed and built by humans for humans. A table is a wonderful and a versatile thing. The movies will demonstrate how they can be used as a shield, a dancing platform, or a thing beneath which you can hide. There is even an entire excercise movement based on the table (“Fitness Tables” — I’m not endorsing them, I’m just saying they exist). Why would you add a design feature to limit its utility? Would you make a chair you can’t sit on? Or a floor you can’t stand on? Well, I suppose some of you would… But that doesn’t make it okay!