Since we have loads of questions about upgrading systems, it has made me curious to see if people have "upgrade philosophies."
I love those kinds of questions, and even on an "Entry Level" forum, it is often very enlightening to see people's recommendations!
For my own part, I think I tend toward "saltatory" rather than incremental upgrade paths.
My own philosophy would be to start with whatever system is mentioned, and then, instead of incrementally upgrading each type of item (symmetrical upgrading?) I would usually pick a piece and try to unpgrade it to as definitive a level as possible, and then wait until the budget was able to accomodate another such move in the future with another part of the system.
My own feeling is that this has provided the most meaningful improvements in my experience, and also actually saves money, because I end up upgrading fewer times and keeping the upgraded item for a 'product-lifetime' rather than an 'ear-upgrade' time.
(I also tend toward an affection for products that offer further future upgrading of the product, too; like VPI or Michell and their turntables...)
So, what philosophy do y'all tend toward?
I can see where asymmetrical upgrading may not seem like a balanced approach to some, and I bet there are strategies I haven't thought of, too.