I'd say this is an apt comparison. My dad was a believer in paying enough to get something that met his minimum requirements, which could be fairly steep. For example, he bought Craftsman hand tools, because he knew he could easily get replacements for any that failed, by going to the local Sears store, but not any of the more expensive and durable tools with the same sort of guarantee, such as Snap-on. In like manner, even as a relatively impecunious college student after his term in the military ended, he bought one of the earliest aerometric Parker "51"s, with the black cap on the end of the sac cover, in black with lustraloy cap, and an Omega wristwatch with an expansion band.
Good post. I do remember my grandfather saying you only have to purchase a good tool once.
Not a day goes by that I dont use a pen or pencil so that I need a tool for writing. What I do not need is a $1k fountain pen because less expensive ones exist. Thats something entirely different. I suspect the difference in those two examples is what separates them from us.