I occasionally will spend $40 to $50 for a bottle of bourbon, but when I do I drink them sparingly.
My one and only bottle of Blanton's was purchased in December, 2001. It is almost gone.
I have about 1/2 bottle remaining of Kentucky Spirit that was bought in December, 2002. I have another unopened bottle of KS that I bought this past fall, because it was marked down to $35.
I'll spend a premium to try something unique -- like, for example, Hirsch 16yo or Pappy 20 or 23. But, for those prices, I'll also enjoy just letting it set on the shelf for awhile. Generally, the only bottles I ever have to replace are the Buffalo Traces, WT 101, JB Black, et al -- and there's a certain pleasure in that thriftiness, too. Then, it's a special joy to find something like EWSB, that's both affordable and exceptional! Is that what we live for, or what?
I don't hold myself to a specific price for a single bottle at all, but since I'm on a limited budget overall every choice I make is a sacrifice. Lately I've been concentrating on lots of rare, hard to find bottles that tend to be a bit more expensive. It may seem strange that I've got lots of premiums and haven't tried many of the basics yet, but OGD114 isn't going anywhere, and if I'd waited 6 months on the Hirsch I might have been out of luck forever. However, I don't bunker away bottles. I don't need a lifetime supply of any one bourbon, but I'd sure like to have one of each one made.