"There is a small demand for expensive ballpoints made of exotic materials, but they don't write any better."
Oh but they do. Give me a nice Uni-Ball, Pilot or Pentel gel pen any day of the week over the cheap, nearly free ballpoints. I am perfectly willing to, and do, pay 5-10 times the price.
Now as to phones, I'm an unabashed fan of the iPhones since my first iPhone 4s. Simply great build quality and speedy, smooth, nearly flawless performance. Can't wait for my 3rd iPhone, the iPhone 6, to arrive. There is now a 4-6 week wait :(