If I took a poll of the first place someone went to check out a new piece of gear they heard about, I'm gonna say 90% or more people go to the internet and start reading. This isn't an inherently bad thing, but what it is doing is taking your ears out of the equation and putting too much of your (and the masses) mind into it. Music isn't just about using your head - it's about emotion and connection. And what sounds good to someone doesn't sound good to everyone. It's the same way with gear.
No one knows what is going to sound good to your ears - only you do! That's why it's so important to get out and actually start trying gear before you buy it. I don't care how awesome someone tells you that Dual Rectifier or Neumann U87 is. If it doesn't sound good to your ears or good for what you're doing, don't get it! It's so important to find something that works for you, your style, your sound, and what you're trying to accomplish. No one else is you and a $10,000 piece of gear does not always sound better than a $100 piece of gear. It always depends on the situation.
So the next time you're looking to make a purchase, head down to the store and start using it. Don't just listen to what people are saying online in a review or on a forum. They have their own opinions and biases. See if the store will let you try it out for a bit if you are serious about it. Spend some time with it. Things change based on the room you're playing in and what gear you mix it with. It's important to use your own stuff with it.
Find the gear that YOU like and makes YOU sound good. Let people remember you for the music you make not the gear you play.