Why Don't More People Love Audio?

Can anyone explain why high end audio seems to be forever stuck as a cottage industry? Why do my rich friends who absolutely have to have the BEST of everything and wouldn't be caught dead without expensive clothes, watch, car, home, furniture etc. settle for cheap mass produced components stuck away in a closet somewhere? I can hardly afford to go out to dinner, but I wouldn't dream of spending any less on audio or music.
That is a awesome question.Sometimes people just have not heard how good it can get.i sell coffe,and its a educational process,they will freak out,when its 8 a pound.But they dont know any better.What would quality be if everybody ,everytime bought nothing but quality,all the time,well broke for sure ,I guess all im trying to say people really have no idea at all what they are missing.Back to coffe again they wont pay 8 for a pound of coffee but will drink a cap every day for 2 or 3 and not blink a eye ,and if you can boil water at home you will make a better cup of coffee there every time.Its the same with stereo the bargains on good sound are unbelievable and they are everywhere.hey we are a stubborn species.
Start with a more basic question - why don't more people love music? It's certainly true, in my experience, that I find a lot more people willing to carry on a conversation about music than audio gear, and I'm sure there is a majority of people, perhaps even a vast majority, who value music to a point that if you tried to take it away from them, they'd yell.

Now, put those people in front of audio enthusiasts and watch what happens. Like somebody with a nagging spouse, any love they start out with gets chipped away at rather than reinforced - "Rap isn't music", "There hasn't been any good music made since I was 18", "Melody is more important than rhythm", "mp3's sound crappy". And on and on. Maybe it's just me, but I'm into music and high-end audio, but exposing myself to others of the audio mindset, these are the messages that just keep being emphasized. It's basically all detriment, no reinforcement.

Assuming that somebody starts with a love of music before "discovering" audio, then they move into figuring out what to buy. And they get more negative feedback - "CD sound is terrible", "Why would you want gear that emphasizes aesthetics", "You have to spend X thousands to get good sound", "Why aren't you sitting still listening instead of talking or paying attention to something else".

The high-end community does nothing but denigrate somebody who is less into audio or music than they are. Spend only low 4-figures and you're buying "mid-fi". Sheesh. I doubt, seriously, that this is significantly different from other hobbies - I can imagine a thread somewhere called "Why don't more people love performance bikes?", coupled with comments about how we tell our potential biking-loving friends that you really don't need to spend more than $3K to get a decent bike.

I have taken to starting as many conversations as I can about music, and I never start a conversation about audio gear. It's amazing to me where I find people who genuinely are into music - I wouldn't even begin to believe I could guess from anything other than asking them, as the patterns are undiscernible. But I find LOTS of people who really enjoy music and want to share their thoughts, turn me onto music, be turned onto music, etc. The only time I talk about audio gear is when somebody suggests that they're thinking of buying something - I offer that I know a lot about gear, and could offer advice on getting the most for their money.

If Audio == high-end in the sense that audiophiles tend to define it, then I think the answer to the original question is because it's so niche that it will never appeal to a wide audience. If Audio means music and music playback systems, then I'd contend that tons of people love audio, they just love it for different reasons than "pure" audiophiles.
I have read and read these threads and what a great topic, I have what I can afford and wish for more, I love anything that sounds great to me, I wish more people got it and could appreciate or even acknowledge my efforts and share what I think is a great experience, but after the ball got rolling where would it stop? and if it didnt and everyone got on this wagon, where would we go? Part of me is really glad it isnt embrassed more than it is, it is amazing when you have a friend over who discovers it or gets it when they hear the sound, I know it makes me smile, and if someone doesnt get it...when they leave I play something.......and there is my smile back! I used to hear people have hobbies and have wondered for a long time why didnt I have one, I guess I never thought of this as a hobby...it just part of my life. Well now when a job application or whatever asks for any hobbies I can finally fill in the blank! trouble is I dont know if I am an audiophile or an audiofool. I just know im gonna wrap this up and go listen to Steely Dan.
Chadnliz, for a resume, I'd stick with "audiophile". For real life ... well, I guess we know what we are ;-)