Wow! This thread has gone off on a tangent. With respect to debt, please allow me to say one thing. Credit, managed properly is cheaper, hugely, than anything you can do with cash.
I want X. It costs Y$. I save $Z per month until I have enough money to pay cash. Inflation takes its toll out of every dollar I save. Every month, ever dollar you have in a savings account is worth less. Simple interest is ALWAYS below the inflation rate. If you put a dollar in the bank last year, it is now worth 98.8 cents. For the last few years interest has been a very small percent of the inflation rate. Saving is a good way to guarantee your money is worth less in the future. As an added bonus you have to wait Y/Z months to get the item in question.
I want X. It costs Y$. I buy it today. On credit. You will notice that the first thing about this situation is that I get to start enjoying said device TODAY. I am now in debt to someone. Most credit cards have a grace period. Pay for it 45 days from now at no extra cost. Lots of credit card companies compete by offering NO INTEREST balance transfers. I love those things. You give me money today and I get to pay you back with inflation cheapened dollars sometime in the future? DEAL! I have never turned down a offer of free money.
Don't even rag-on about debt levels and credit ratings. The first is irrelevant as long as you have the cash flow to pay the bills. The second will stay stellar as long as you pay your bills. This is key: THEY DON'T CARE WHOSE MONEY YOU PAY YOUR BILLS WITH! As long as I maintain my credit rating by paying my bills, I get more no interest money offers. Neat, huh?
I am 56 years old and retired. My assets are worth about 3 times my current debt level. Before the recent financial downturn it was about 5 times. Even in the extremely unlikely event that this system collapses around me, I can liquidate and have enough cash to replace everything I own twice. What I lose is cash flow, and that would hurt worse.
I stand by my position. Paying cash is for fools and poor people. In the end you will die with a pile of saved cash. Of what use is it to you at that point? I will die as far in debt as I can get. Reasonably.
Dedicated APS-c shooter. Gripped 60D, 60 2.8, 10-22, 15-85, Σ70-200 OS and a big white something or other! Plus a 5D w/28-75.