Re: real work?
"As a contractor you should be able (and in some cases expected) to use your own equipment."
And I do spend a lot of money on my Laptops (I buy high end and make them last a few years)
I also spend on software, usually a separate windows licence for the client running in a VM, it makes it easy to hand over should anything happen as everything will be in the VM.
However, about 60% of the companies I've worked for insist on contractors using client issued equipment for security reasons. Given that I work on database systems and frequently have access to sensitive data thinks makes sense and is something which in their position I would make contractors do too.