1. Quality is now a luxury — i.e., it isn't cheap. I've written about this before, but it bears repeating. There's a difference between spending $150 or $200 on a premium Bible and spending $5,000 on a designer handbag. You're not making a statement with those dollars, you're making an investment. The thing that motivated me to learn more about the design and manufacture of Bibles was frustration: I hated how badly the average late twentieth century Bible was made, its vestigial decorative touches about as authentic as the timber on a suburban Tudor facade. I spent a lot of money on bad Bibles before I spent a dime on good ones. If you manage to spend $150 on a Bible you'll use for five, ten, twenty years, you're doing all right. It's like shoes, remember? You can buy cheap ones, but you'll have to buy more and more. Unless you don't wear them, which is how some folks keep their Bibles intact.
2. You're supporting a dying art. That rationale applies to the reader who, in search of a lifetime Bible, finds this site and makes an informed purchase. But what about the person who makes ten or twenty of those informed purchases? Isn't that a Bad Thing? Not if you ask me. People are pretty indifferent to the Bible, generally speaking, which means publishing quality editions is a niche market inside a niche market. The reason I don't have a problem with Bible "collecting" is that people in that line help keep the options alive. It's frustrating to find the Bible you've been looking for all those years, then discover it's out of print. Why is it out of print? Because nobody was buying. So if you ask me, the question really isn't how much you've spent. It's what did you spend it on. If you spent $20 to support the problem, I'm sorry, that doesn't impress me as much as the guy who spent ten times that to support the solution.
3. A gadfly in the ointment. Then there's Matthew 26. If you recall, while Jesus was in the home of Simon the leper, a woman anointed him with expensive perfume. Christ called what she'd done "a beautiful thing," but beauty has always seemed a costly frivolity to the more practical minded. "Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor." Sounds good, right? But in John's gospel we learn that the prime mover behind this objection was Judas, and his motives had more to do with the fact that he held the money bag than any abstract affection he might have for the less fortunate. While I don't want to belittle anyone's Oskar Schindler moment, a realization that a luxury or two forgone could have saved another life, there's something slightly facile about imposing such sanctions on others — especially typing them out on your laptop then sending them via your high speed Internet connection. Sometimes the better path involves more delighting in beauty and less consternation about the sacrifices others ought to be making.
Why am I spending so much time belaboring the point? Because I don't want to spend another moment on it again. My attitude in a nutshell is this. Don't feel guilty for insisting on quality. Don't beat yourself up for supporting the folks who make quality editions. And don't submit to the judgment of people who, whether they realize it or not, seek to bind your conscience to salve their own.