I am a firm believer that excellent beer can be created with relatively simple and cheap set ups:
Like, a single infusion mash?
Single infusion mashes are excellent. My point is more relevant when comparing the setups I've seen both online and in person that tend to require a second mortgage to fund without an appreciable ROI, heck one guy I know spent over 8000 on his setup and his beer isn't even that good (but he enjoys it, so I guess that's worth something).
I took the basic Midwest all-grain kit, did SIM for a while and decided to upgrade with a pump and high temp tubing to HERMS for probably less than $200. Is HERMS necessary? Not at all, we had excellent results before hand, however we do believe there is a higher quality wort and I enjoy the aesthetics of a clearer beer (both of which are obviously subjective).
I think it's important for us to be able to show others who are thinking about joining our hobby that they can do so without risking their children's college fund.