How to divide a budget between components

Hello All,

I recently read through an interesting thread on AG in the speaker section on the best way to allocate one's budget for a system (the consensus was to put about half towards the speakers and the remainder towards everything else).

So on that note, what is the best way to allocate one's non-speaker budget? There seems to be a growing number of improved components to buy that are supposed to make a big difference. Where would a person's money be best spent? Below are some items to possibly consider for a components budget. For this example, the components budget would be $10K (keeps the math easy) and the speakers would be worth around $15k. I know the allocation would vary on more factors (such as music preference, digital vs analogue focus, etc) but I'm wondering as a general overall rule what has worked best?

Turn table
Turn table cartridge
CD player
Surge protection
Speaker cables
Power cables
Equipment racks/tables
Room treatments
(Are there any I missed?)
My two most expensive components were sources.
TT then CD player in that order.
In my opinion the best sounding systems are those where every component works well with all others and no real weak link can be identified. This is also known as synergy.

And its also been my experience that to assign percentages from a total budget on what each component should be allocated doesn't work to achieve this synergy. Match specs and performance - not dollars.

I drive a $2200 pair of speakers with a $2500 amp and couldn't be happier after trying many other combos using the so-called allocation recommendations.

Its all about how it sounds brother, not what it costs!
I know that this is always a spirited discussion, but will weigh in nonetheless. I am certainly of the opinion that trasnducers make the biggest impact. So cartridge and speaker are going to make the biggest difference since they are responsible for the physical-to-electric back-and-forth. I'd say don't skimp on any component, but put the big bucks on your speaker in particular. In my experience 50%+ on speakers makes the most sense. And let's not forget the importance of the speaker-room interface. Which is why I spend big on my DEQX HDP-4. Oh, so good. If DSP isn't in your cards, at least budget for sufficient room treatment. Hugely important.