we're a very self-selecting group around here. it's a weird combination of above-average iq, below-average conversational filters, above-average professional experience, below-average self-control, and above-average alcohol consumption and presence of women with great personalities and insight. this also makes for a unique place for recommendations. because you know that, to a very high degree; everyone you read from is greatly like you, everything they say they based upon personal benefit from has a greater-than-average chance of benefiting you too. sometimes these recommendations happen out of conversation; sometimes they come out of topical threads. the idea of this thread is simple. no genre and no limit (though keep it reasonable; remember, people want to read/scan it): focus: what do you personally recommend? (we're going for "that a person-of-average finances can afford" here.) why is it of such a value to you that you think someone else needs to have it now? alt focus: what have you purchased on bad recommendations? why'd you do it? what about that decision made it "bad"?