I've bought refurbs and open box all my life. I don't pay retail. Give me at least a year warranty and most times I'm happy. I've worked in the electronics (computer) industry for the past 20 years in manufacturing, bench service and field service in 3 LARGE electronics firms. If you think even the brand new product you pull out of a box is virgin you are mistaken.
Sure, many have gone thru the process with no defects but I have repaired many a board that didn't pass a test fixture, much less burn in. 40+hours a week times 3 years on one new product assembly line, then multiply that by 7 techs and 3 shifts, however many tons of boards that comes out to. And this wasn't at Joe Blows computers. It was a very large IC/electronics manufacturer doing contract mfg. for another very large computer company. Thru hole and surface mount with excellent equipment and staff. You see some interesting stuff out there http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
Sure the bad apples are there. But if I have a good warranty/company I can document an intermittent problem and climb the corporate ladder to get it fixed, darn sure of that. Can I buy new, sure. I could pay cash for just about anything I want to buy. Hmmm, wonder if that has anything to do with buying secondhand stuff?
Actually, neither side is "right". Some people don't mind a little hassle for a bargain and some want perfection. No problem, just buy whichever and ENJOY!!!