To Jeff Fritz,
However, the problem with this simplified discussion of psychological aspects is that it might lead to thinking in stereotypes, IMHO! But in real life there are no 100% stereotypes! In the context discussed here I am pretty sure that there are also audiophiles who primarily invest in luxury brands -- offering not only top image but also top sound and top durability, etc.
Or think about a poor audiophile who wins the jackpot of a lottery. Would he refuse to buy a luxury product now? Same problem with other categories of psychology. A normal human being often shows all aspects of those categories differing in time [and] changing with mood. Thus let’s be careful with simplifications and generalizations. However, I am pretty sure that cognitive bias can fool a listener when he is primed by the information about the price! On the other hand, I hardly can believe that the gold plating of a Bricasti DAC’s faceplate will significantly improve the sound quality!