I'm finding this to be a very interesting topic, so fair warning, there may be (read will be) ramblings.
machinefabriek mentioned being probably the least techy person in this thread, I'm probably at par with that. I have many friends or colleagues who are gear afficionados, some for more legitimate reasons than others. And in the case of Taylor who mentioned mastering other projects, or someone who would have a recording studio to accomodate different projects / bands / artists, it only makes sense to have what makes that process viable and up to par with "industry standards" at least in some fashion.
However, when it comes to an artist and their needs, the need to create far surpasses that of acquiring tools. It's not necessairly that black and white mind you, as we are not cavemen hitting on things to make sounds anymore. And I guess so long as the tools help in achieving the ideas you have, they definitely are no harm or hindrance.
It happens so often that friends will show me their new machines and things, and when I ask what they'll do MORE with it than they were already doing, I'd say about 90% of the time it does not improve the quality of their creation, or improves creativity itself.
My latest project came about through the contingency of actually having broken gear, which didn't allow me to record anymore, analog or digitally. But I could use what was already in the computer as source material.
Anywho, long story short, I found that to be one of the most fulfilling artistic experiences of my life. Even if the end result is not as polarized and versatile as it could be given millions of things and tools to work with, the process of working with very little forces one to re-evaluate the creation process.
Minimalist expression not only in the end product, but during the process and pervading the outlook on life itself and what is needed to achieve one's end. Fun stuff.
I realize I'm necro-bumping here, but it seems like this thread struck a chord.
Don't mind me.