I've just spent a week in Las Vegas meeting some of the new tech crowd (as well as visiting the casino's for purely research purposes).
A couple of things were evident whilst there.
 The cost of mobile calls whilst in the US were prohibitive. £1.25 per minute to make a mobile call on the cingular network via my vodafone contract (and I'm on a business tariff) and £0.99 per minute to receive a call
 Everything in the US is at least 50% cheaper (I bought a top of the range HP laptop for 47% of the price it is here in the UK)
 Technology turns up in the UK later than in the US (I bought a 12.1 Megapixel Sony digital camera for $399 which isn't available in the UK although the 8 Megapixel version is for £349)
The Internet is making is much easier to make informed decisions nowadays about what is fair value and what is old tech whilst the high street retailers continue to peddle the older versions of products.
Whilst the value of online sales in the UK is rapidly growing there is still some way to go to catch up with the USA - and we as consumers are set to benefit (or are we?)
Being a tech geek (I love the latest gadgets) - I'm always looking for the newest and best technology to make my life easier / more interesting etc... But I remember not so long ago when I was happy with the 1 Megapixel camera and the quality of the photo's it took. Do I really need 12.1 Megapixel's if all I'm doing is storing them on a digital photo frame capable of presenting them at 800x640 pixels (more than capable of being taken by the 1 megapixel camera).
Moreover, I can't remember the last time I printed a photo that I took with my camera?
I can't help but feel I'm on the never ending treadmill of "latest and greatest" as a consumer. My only answer (or the only one I can think up to give to the wife) is I need to use the latest technology to ensure I am up to date with this new technology. But as a consumer I'm starting to feel cheated.
Devices are getting Smaller / Faster / Cheaper so fast now that even I'm beginning to ask - is it worth it to keep up?