I remember saying that. “I’d rather have a puppy than an iPad”.
Now I’ve got an iPad and I still don’t have a puppy. I use the iPad continuously. But I would still trade it in for a puppy without even momentary regret.
There are more side benefits to a dog. I’ll get exercise. I’ll need less heating (all dogs are lapdogs). I’ll need to vacuum less (there are no crumbs with a dog).
Upfront costs range from far cheaper than iPad (rescue mutt) to several times more expensive (Malamute). There are more ongoing costs to a dog but the upgrade timescale is longer. Round my way I think they are both equally at risk of getting pinched.
If I got a puppy, I think there is a reasonably possibility that I might die from the excitement. I’ve been waiting ten years. It’s been a consistent life goal since leaving home (and our dog).
The point isn’t really that I really really want a dog. It’s about trying not to waste money on things that don’t carry that death-from-excitement risk.
I do, of course, value good design but that has a limited value (in the literal sense that there is a limit not that it’s value is low). I won’t pay the premium regardless of what the premium is. I’ll weigh it up against other things of value to me.
My resistance to regular purchasing of expensive gadgetry (robots not included) really comes down to the other wanted things in the back of my head, things that the dog is only one representative of (having the fabled farm, moving somewhere where our neighbours don’t steal our trucks, not being a wage slave…)
I guess my (work) point is, make sure you understand everything the user values.