Jim, I think we become more philosophical when $ has always been a very real object in our lives. That reality becomes part of us. It colors how we think. And probably how we dream.
It may be philosophical to seek out life's simpler pleasures, but there's no denying simpler pleasures usually cost less.
With cars, there's also the butthole factor. It seems the more a car costs, the more likely the butthole factor comes as standard equipment.
Roll up in any one of these
and the first thing people ask is, "What butthole is driving that thing?"
What I've always found amazing about the Speedster is that no matter how much attention it draws, people don't think you're a butthole for driving one. They may still think I'm a butthole, but not because of the car.
Maybe they sympathize a little because they know about EMPI brakes.