Get only what I need, or stock up to really build my plugin arsenal? I've always trended toward the thrifty side of the equation, yet when I first realized how high quality software could impact a mix, my bank account started seeing a few more withdrawals. This holiday season, I've decided upon two purchases that I think could drastically improve my work: the Slate Blue Series FET Compressors ($75 on sale) and the Fabfilter Pro-R ($100 w/ student discount.) Not only are these two products high quality bargains, but they also fill key holes in my plugin selection. While I was well stocked on VCA and Opto emulators, my FET selection was lacking. I was also missing a go-to reverb, and like most Fabfilter plugins, the Pro-R is an absolute can't-miss. If money is an issue, then look up reviews and tutorials to see if you like the sound, AND if it could find a niche in your mixing process before buying a plugin. And of course, lower cost does NOT mean a better deal.