LinuxJedi: I'm much less principled about the open source side of things, I do like things I can just grab and use though. I have met a software sales person with scruples, the key is that they need to not be paid too much in commission!

Richard: Are you telepathic? Zend Platform is what triggered this post, I was surprised to find I actually can see applications for it in some organisations, its a nice product. I'm on that learning curve for that business mindset you mention.

Stefan: You make a good point about those small, independent packages that are well worth paying for. Years ago I had a licensed copy of textpad for windows, cheap enough for a student to pay for and a really excellent product in its day.

Rob...: Keynote is a reason that paid software will always survive, I have used a demo version and if I had a mac, I'd definitely get it. There are some things that are definitely worth it, however as student and then casual developer/blogger, I've never had need of them until now. Its really interesting to hear which packages people are using, I will definitely be looking into some of these :)