I'll throw in an opinion on refurbished electronics. When I lived in Seattle there was a company outlet store (skill/black and decker/someone else) where returned power tools would get resold after a technician took them apart and fixed them. If I remember they were about half of the original price. I bought a drill there back in 1998 and it still works great.
The clerk showed me the back room where all the technicians sat at benches working on various tools. I don't know if that is true for any other electronic outlets but now I wish I had bought more tools there.