I am always plagued with this question when upgrading or buying a new piece of hardware. It took me 3 months to buy my current TV and the only reason I "rushed" my process was that I wanted to watch the World Cup last year in Full HD
(Yes, sometimes I'm in the market for months before buying something)
When it came to my previous rig upgrade, I went for a step below the cutting edge (an i7-950). Now I will upgrade my Graphic card before TW:S2's release as my current graphic card is having a tough time when 3D Vision is turned on (GTX 260, frame rate is less than half with 3D Vision on)
So once again, I am in a dilemma: Should I buy the most cutting edge Nvidia card (which will be released next month and will have two GPUs and 3GB of VRAM), or should I get a GTX 580 or a GTX 570? (clarification: the purpose of this thread is not asking for which one you think I should get, but your input is more than welcome
Most of the time, when I have an upgrade in mind, I set a budget based on my preliminary research. Then I refine my options based on the budget (give or take 20%). But most of the time I end up buying something beyond my budget by several folds (like in my previous upgrade where I've exceeded by budget by over 50%).
I am a sucker for better performance. But I almost always stick to the piece that is just one step below the best as that usually offers a better performance-to-price ratio.
How would you describe yourself and your purchasing behavior?
PS: Sorry for the long post, but I don't think AlJabberwock's answer would be shorter
PPS: If you have an input/advice about the GPU upgrade, know that budget is not an issue. Only the performance-to-price ratio as I don't like to feel that I'm being robbed.