I've never known anyone to take up woodworking in any form simply as an excuse to buy expensive tools. But I have known many for whom woodworking was greatly enhanced by using the best tools.
Professionals, regardless of what trade they work in, will rarely use anything but the best they can get. For them, the best tools are not a luxury; they are a necessity and represent part of the cost of doing business. I spent much of my life as a professional woodworker and I never gave a second thought to buying top quality equipment.
I began with whatever tools I could gather together and most were modestly priced. (I have never felt that cheap tools were worth even the ridiculously low price most of them can be had for.) But years of working with top quality tools has spoiled me and now, whenever I need a tool, I always start looking at the top.
Sometimes this is not smart, especially when I’ll only need a tool for a one-time project that I cannot image ever having to do again. A much less expensive tool would probably do just as well. But like I said, I'm spoiled.
What’s been your experience?