With regards to the ethics and morality of our consumer habits in general , as is often the way, intuitively we rail against the the high ticket items as being the obvious target of our more questionable consumer indulgences. However, I would take the opposite view and argue that as high ticket items often derive their value from a smaller number of well paid talented people, who design and manufacture such goods, and are likely to have a far longer working life. It follows they will have a far lower environmental and human impact.
What I find far more disturbing is being able to buy 100% cotton t-shirt in Primark for £3, or a cotton shirt with all the labour intensive sewing that is required for £10. Someone in that supply chain is almost certainly getting shafted, and that's before you consider the environmental impact of their production, my guess is Stella McCartney can afford to be far more ethical about her sources and they will be worn for a lot longer than anything from Primark.
We are living in a time of cheap easy disposal, your smart phone is getting a few years old and the battery is losing it's charge, oh I'm due an upgrade, and so it goes. Personally I don't stray far from Naim, not that I doubt there are better value products out there, but I know that in all likely hood in twenty years I will still be able to have it repaired, and that is a far better model of consumption in my eyes.
Not wishing to have an argument or look like I'm picking on you Max B, but I would also be quite suspicious of the sustainability of what looks like a hardwood of the shelving system you are buying from China. They don't have the best track record on environmental care. That said, it may be something you've checked out and are happy with, but it should be factored into any purchases we make.
The other aspect to the high ticket item is of course the money that could otherwise be put toward better uses, but that debate really applies to almost all aspects of our lives, holidays, cars, trips to the cinema, anything really beyond your primary requirements. I do however agree that sometimes the amounts spent on listening to music can be a little uncomfortable, I just think it's a more complex debate that we need to have.