Well said, Dee, as always. One of the things I like about the Fish-Ins is test casting everyone elses gear. It's nothing to have a $29 Wal-Mart special thrust in your hands followed by a $3000 bamboo rod. At one Central Washington Fish-In my lovely wife was handed several bamboo rods to try out (I'll get you for that, Z.). She cast quads and hexes, rods from Kusse, Taylor and finally a rod made by the late John Channer. She said that the hair stood up on her arms when she cast the Channer. That was the rod for her, and it's the rod I ordered for her (and one later for myself because it is a sweet rod).
I think any fishing gear is subjective and opting for one over another is a very personal choice.
Aren't we glad there are so many choices.
By the way, we're not having fun, we're having a ball.
Happiness is wading boots that never have a chance to dry out.