Honestly I think this syndrome you describe is not isolated to mountain biking whatsoever, but rather runs much deeper. American "cultural" has evolved such that materialism and excess are common practices in virtually all aspects of life. Do any of us (non-racers) need the latest greatest full suspension systems, XTR parts, and $1000 front forks? NO, but we convince ourselves we do because quality parts definitely translate into better performance, durability, etc. Likewise, do any of us need an Audi A8 Sport Wagon or a BMW. NO, but I’m sure they are a hell of lot more fun to drive then my toyota. Do any of us need ipods, iphones, and blackberrys? NO, but they sure are more convenient than a 1980’s Sony walkman and pay phones. I could go on and on. I guess my point is that over buying is not isolated to mountain biking but rather is prevalent EVERYWHERE in our culture. People like to spend their hard earned money on nice things that they may not absolutely honest to god [i:28y5l28o]need[/i:28y5l28o], but they may absolutely honest to god [i:28y5l28o]want[/i:28y5l28o]. It is what it is. Honestly, I can’t fault people for buying big because, if you have the money….why not?