With some things, paying for quality matters; with others, it doesn't. I will sacrifice for the former but economize with the latter.
I'm an enthusiastic pool-player. Not an especially skilled one, but I enjoy the game. Until recently I never used a real pool-cue, just cheap ones a small step above warped bar sticks. Then I splurged and bought a professional cue -- at a steep price -- and wondered if it would make a difference.
Whoa! It's a magic wand!
I can't say it makes me play better than I am but it certainly enables me play at the very limit of my ability. The stick's balance is perfect, my stroke is smooth as a lover's caress and the cue transports kinetic force directly and without waste. Using it feels like shooting pool in Heaven, where all of your shots are effortless and three-bank trick-shots go straight into the pocket.
The good news is this inspires me to play more. I'm shooting tonight with a new friend, Lonnie. If any of you want to visit a seedy pool-hall with a grungy biker, let me know and we'll hang out sometime. It's a fun game.