Re: Does not take long to buy the hardware ...
<quote> Does not take long to buy the hardware ... at $156/month.</quote>
You are right, it doesn't.
In the USofA, no thanks to the Tax Laws, you run into the old debate - CAPEX vs OPEX.
Buy it outright for (let's use a round figure of) $3700. That's $3700 straight out of your pocket (and possibly out of current profits), and you have to depreciate it over its expected lifespan. Assume a residual value of $100 at the end of a 36 month lifespan; you get to 'write down' the value by $100/monthly. Again, assume that you bought it in early January, and your first year writedown is only $1200. You have to carry the remaining $2400 as an asset, and can not depreciate it until year 2 and 3 before it no longer benefits from a depreciation schedule. If that $2400 came from profits, then guess what - you pay taxes on it! Only in year 2 and 3 do you get the benefit of the previous expenditure. That depreciation goes against profits from year 2 and 3.
Contrast that to a lease - leases and a straight expense, written off as a business expense as they are incurred. No taxes paid on those writeoffs.
Now you have some inkling as to why beancounters want to shift as much CAPEX into OPEX as they can get away with.