I'm happy that you all generally agree with it.
I wasn't trying to bash extract brewing in any way, because I think it is simply another way to make beer and without it, there are a hell of a lot of brewers who would never have started in the first place.
My point in general, was merely that it'd be great if some of the myths surrounding the "problems" of going AG could be debunked.
I agree with the time spent - it is a fair bit and yes, the costs are perhaps a little higher, but my own set-up is by no means expensive and the results that have come out of it have been excellent. At least I think so myself, and those who've tried it seem to agree.
My set-up is basically, a lauter tun made out of a plastic carboy with the top sawn off, hundreds of holes drilled in the sawn-off top and then put in the bottom. Obviously I've fitted the carboy with a tap. Would be sort of silly otherwise.
Other than that, I have a couple of food-grade plastic fermenters, and while I've been told plastic is a no-go by some, there are as many who will tell you that as long as it is food grade, there really is no difference. Personally I can not taste any difference whatsoever. This also means that, since there are taps on my fermenters I can sample the brew quite easily along the way without risking infection by doing it.
The single largest expense was the pot that I mash and boil in (7 gallon stainless steel). Cost nearly as much as all the other stuff put together. Being in possession of that now though, I have very few expenses until I upgrade on a point or two. I just bought a third fermenter so I can finally go on to have two brews fermenting at the same time.