i tend to buy it, no matter where it's from. we only watch anime on a TV that isn't near a computer. downloading an entire series, rendering, and burning it to DVD would often take upwards of 10-20 hours. considering i only buy what i deem to be reasonably priced anime unless it's a series i absolutely love, often it's more efficient to buy it.
today on craigslist i'm picking up 10 complete series, 5 movies, 1 partial out of print series (4 out of 6 discs), 3 disc 1's of series, and 5 out of 6 discs of another series for $100.
if there isn't a reasonably priced domestic release, i will sometimes buy import series either locally or by mail. local stores charge ~$10 a disc for import sets and by mail you can get em for ~$8 a disc. e.g. 3 disc 26 episode set = $30 or $24. i use that as the benchmark.
for used import series i look to spend less than $20, and used domestic releases i look for less than $30, but on occasion will go up to say, $35-40 if it's supposed to be really good and the new price is > $60. the ideal is to pay $10-15 per import set and $15-25 for domestic sets. i'll pretty much pull the trigger that those prices if it's anything i'm interested in.
my big things are this:
1. i like to support the companies that make the stuff unless i feel they're gouging the crap out of the consumer. e.g. trickling out too many discs with too few episodes per disc and too high of an MSRP per disc.
2. i like to support the local stores that stock both new/used anime (especially used). after watching half of the stores that cover my hobbies (disc, guitars, video games, movies, cd's, etc.) close, i'm willing to pay a couple of $ more to support those local stores and keep em doing what they do. the better local stores usually cut me a deal on used stuff.
what i hate: $100 MSRP's on 25 episode sets. pawn shops that pay $1 per disc and then jack up a 6 disc set to $70.
as for series that i want...
anything really good heh. i'm a newb to this. i have stuff that's been recommended and am working to get those right now, but for a quick list...
rahxephon, 009, ai yori aoshi, samurai gun, escaflowne, zone of the enders, gankotsuou, berserk, gungrave, trigun (if cheap), basilisk, dot.Hack roots, hellgirl, black lagoon, and others.
i'm open to pretty much anything if the price is right.