One of my hopes in starting this thread is to see some examples posted, especially for people transitioning to UL, of some of the ways we all think and the decisions ultimately made towards reduction in weight, weighed by funds.
@Doug + Nick, you make me want to start a gear shop! Really, I'm somewhere in between. At this stage in life, I have to consider the funds, but for some things, the cost is much less of a factor - especially when your life is on the line while at altitude, etc. To me, less weight + high quality = ability to move more quickly while doing things more efficiently in less time = more safety.
@John, it looks like swapping to a lighter sleeping pad can be a very cost-effective weight reduction strategy.
Another factor I consider is to whom do I want my money to go to. I often find purchasing used gear a very pleasant and mutually beneficial community building experience. Similarly, if I am able to support local (US) cottage industry entrepreneurs with my purchases, I am willing to pay more for something than I otherwise might. In fact, I think that, although the sum of words in this sentence are perhaps disqualifying this portion of the paragraph from it's own UL status at this point, the simple direct supply chain of maker to end-user is an ideal application of ultralight philosophy implemented in daily life.