Fast Company has been looking at whether you get more out of buying experiences or things. First, they published The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things, then followed it up with Scientific Proof That Buying Things Can Actually Lead To Happiness (Sometimes).
Surprise! Science is more nuanced than a headline. It all depends on what experience or thing you're buying.
My position on this hasn't changed since the A Lesser Photographer book:
"$1200 could buy you the latest prosumer DSLR body or a plane ticket to a place you’ve never been, with change to spare for a guide. Which would add more to your life experience and to the diversity of your image library?"