Many of us are looking at the after market for gear- this is absolutely normal. The fact that we treasure used gear does not equal being a Scrooge. We acknowledge the fact that some of these used stuff are still in absolutely wonderful condition due to under-utilization.
Now on to the figures. We enjoy trawling the after-market for a simple reason- price. This adventure is further emboldened by negotiations culminating in absolute buying satisfaction. The fact remains unchanged- prices in stores aren't negotiable & any attempt to verbally lower prices will be met with stern looks & poisonous stares. They have their reasons to keep prices fixed & we would like to respect this principle.
We look at the after market for another crucial reason- the gear we want are discontinued. This does not equal unavailability; there are owners out there with what you want so it's a matter of offering the right prices to pry them off their owners.
There is an interesting pool of players here who cite used gear as a better option than buying fresh stuff. The reason being; they can't differentiate the satisfaction levels between owning used gems & fresh buys. At the end of it all, the result they are after are the same so what kind of gear is concerned does not matter any more.
Finally, convenience is a real consideration. There is an increasing number of people who lost touch with planet gear because of time factor. They would really want to go out there & look at the stuff in the windows but it's just not permissible with work, studies, family, etc. getting in the way. It's all understood my friends, the after market is here to address your needs but be mindful of what you are dealing with, it shouldn't be compared to the stuff in the stores.
So there you go, buying used gear isn't lowering yourselves down in terms of worthiness. Keep in mind that some awesome deals are in the after market indeed; those 60s Strats, 50s LPs, shred-era Ibanez RGs are lurking under someone's bed or hybernating in the store rooms somewhere out there.