At some point sure, it is about prestige, but also at some point it is about better hardware and better blanks. I don't spend a grand on a rod, but for those that do and their kids aren't skipping meals because of it - good for you.

Personally I like to find last year's, or two year's ago rods that were moderately priced and buy them at deeply discounted prices. I own and fish some $700+ sticks, but I sure didn't pay that for them. I like nice equipment. Many people that see me fishing, don't know what the equipment costs, but I still like to know that it isn't my equipment that's holding me back in any way. When I'm on the water, it's not the reel, it's not the rod or line or fly - it's all personal responsibility to make it happen or not make it happen.

Would I catch more fish with a $2K stick? No, but I don't want to fish with a $30 rod. It's cool that we live in America and can have differences of opinions on many subjects and that the hobby is large enough to tolerate our differences. Go make YOURSELF happy and go fish.