I also had a bad experience on eBay with a computer, but got it mostly resolved. Your choices for gear shopping make a lot of sense as well. Depending on where you live, secondhand shops can be a good place to look. Not everyone needs expedition quality gear or clothes. Some of what I have is really old, but I don't get out that much to justify replacing it and it works just fine.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.