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.

" 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.

"And please...let’s not start talking about what classes we took in high school as a means to somehow qualify our chops..."
Who ever talked about high school classes? From what I can tell, most people have college and post graduate degrees here. Are you saying these science and engineering degrees have absolutely no bearing on what qualifies someone to give there opinions?

Not sure if you actually use your chemistry degree for your livelihood or if you are too busy channeling your inner Llobet but I haven't seen much detailed feedback from you on why these cables aren't worth their price. Have you A/B tested a wide range of cables in various set-ups? What steps have you taken to deduce a cable isn't worth 'X' amount? Or is your opinion formed on your own set of circumstances and what you find to be unacceptable because of the price tag it wields? We agree that we both feel that prices are substantial and over the top so it's not all disagreement. But what I find over the top is acceptable to someone else. 

"I’m with @wattsperchannel on this...@dracule1 comes off as whiny." 
And you’re not? Get real.

We disagree here. I am genuinely happy for people and their success by however they measure it (healthy kids, meaningful job, financial freedom, totally awesome hi-fi..ahah.. etc.) I guess I'm just not sure why you speak down to the "filthy rich" the way you are as if it's a negative to be financially successful...what purpose does that serve? Hence, it sounds whiny...
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