well i've been in the radio hobby for about 10yrs now and i can assure people i've lost money in it and i 've came across good deals in it. but it has not always been peaches and cream that i can assure you.
I hear ya'. I just popped over 300 clams for a GRE PSR 600. Great radio, but if you live in a downstairs of an apartment complex surrounded by a fortress of other buildings, it really limits your range. I'm doing good to get 20 miles range on it.
Normally, the Elecraft K2 comes as a kit the consumer must assemble, and accessories come as kits also. This radio transmits in the 80m-10m wavelengths (about 3-28MHz) and receives through that whole range. It can be accessorized with many options. I bought my K2 at a hamfest with these options:
That's about $960 worth of options that all come as capacitors, PCBs and resistors and people spend months assembling these (some hams even accept payment to build these).
I got mine for $75. That's not a typo (it really cost me seventy five dollars). I was ecstatic and had 3 offers on my way out the door (the lowest more than doubled my expenditure).
Even though it's a QRP rig (for now), it's a dream boat. This hobby (including scanning) imparts a sense fellowship where older hams feel like taking care of younger guys (I still consider myself young) and they try to pass on the knowledge and lessons learned through the years. I can't think of a hobby I've enjoyed more, and it has easily assimilated with all my other hobbies to make them more enjoyable as well.
If the hobby was always peaches and cream it wouldn't be as fun. I learn through hard lessons and slapped foreheads and love to be challenged by my hobbies and I think most people on this site feel the same way.