Are audiophiles still out of their minds?


I've been in this hobby for 30 years and owned many gears throughout the years, but never that many cables.  I know cables can make a difference in sound quality of your system, but never dramatic like changing speakers, amplifiers, or even more importantly room treatment. Yes, I've evaluated many vaunted cables at dealers and at home over the years, but never heard dramatic effect that I would plunk $5000 for a cable. The most I've ever spent was $2700 for pair of speaker cables, and I kinda regret it to this day.  So when I see cable manufacturers charging 5 figures for their latest and "greatest" speaker cables, PC, and ICs, I have to ask myself who buys this stuff. Why would you buy a $10k+ cable, when there are so many great speakers, amplifiers, DACs for that kind of money, or room treatment that would have greater effect on your systems sound?  May be I'm getting ornery with age, like the water boy says in Adam Sandler's movie.
dracule1
"Currently there’s a pair of Nordost Valhalla 2’s for sale here asking $14,340 ($35,850 original price.) "
To which dracule1 replied,

"Guess what...if this person is one of those special Nordost dealers and selling it for $14,340, he is still making a healthy profit. If this person bought it for the original list price, you know my opinion on that."

"If" is the operative word here. Nobody pays retail. Hel-loo! And why the USED audiophile market is SO strong, particularly since the Big Short selling scandal. Geez, high end audiophile cables are probably the most recession proof audio product in the world. Much better than real estate or the stock? A clever fellow can actually make money buying and selling cables. Over here we can just borrow really expensive high end cables from the Cable Company at no charge. Kind of a no brainer, eh?

An ordinary man has no means of deliverance.

cheerios

"An ordinary man has no means of deliverance."
Au contraire, mon frère. 
You already mentioned the "used" route. Remember when "upgrade" didn't mean "flavor of the month" but the gradual building of a system over time? For some of us of an age, I started in high school, and built my system further while in college. I didn't really have much money to spend on gear, but it took priority over other things someone else might spend their disposable income on. When the SP-11 preamp came out in in the late '80s, I bought an SP-10 mk ii, which wasn't cheap, but to me, worth every dollar. By then, I had a decent job, but it was still real money to me. 
Some folks I know who have true wealth wouldn't spend a fraction of this on audio gear (maybe that's why they are wealthy, but they have different priorities). Others- some poor as church mice-- have killer systems, built over the years. (Yes, they had inside prices working in the industry, or spent judiciously, but were hardly "rich.").  
To me, the real answer to all of this is to do your own evaluations, find the bargains or overlooked pieces of gear on the used market and make your own decisions on what sounds "right" without following the herd. The DIY camp--which I really am not adept at because I lack vital skills--is where a lot of the action is. 

whart,

" To me, the real answer to all of this is to do your own evaluations, find the bargains or overlooked pieces of gear on the used market and make your own decisions on what sounds "right" without following the herd. The DIY camp--which I really am not adept at because I lack vital skills--is where a lot of the action is. "

You got that right. Look for overlooked pieces of gear, like vintage SS Japanese gear from the 80's and 70's.  Very affordable and sounds better than some of the most highly touted gear today.  Don't follow the herd and buy the most advertised gear, which is usually the most expensive.  And DIY is probably the best thing an audiophile can do for himself to get some of the best sound with the lowest cost, provided he has the time to learn.  DIY cable is the easiest thing to make and just as good or better than half of the cables costing thousands of dollars.
This has turned into one hell of a pissing contest. Several times the streams have crossed in general agreement (not necessarily on things audio) but the animosity that has built up and the innate hubris seems to have blinded the participants to this. Keep it up and there'll be no dessert. :-)

Carry on.

Dracula Playbook

Step 1) Bash the wealthy by any means available.

Step 2) Add the appearance of credibility to your positions, by doing so in an arena where facts are complex and subjectivity hides true intent.

Step 3) If someone figures out your purpose, revert to a higher level of personal insult in hopes of driving them from the conversation.

Step 4) Repeat.


The scars run deep in this one.