Before the Internet entered people's homes, personal computers were uncommon and expensive. The 1989 price of the Macintosh SE/30, for professional desktop publishing, was $6500. In 1994 or so, my in-laws paid $2000 for a Pentium desktop computer and got on AOL, and at that price point the computer entered middle America's spending habits. More recently, I bought a midrange computer for $700, but you can pay as little as $400 for a decent new machine and expect it to last three to five years.
Computers went from costing most people $2000 every few years to $400. Where's the extra money going now?
Answer: perhaps not coincidentally, data plans for smartphones are $30 or more a month. Tack on $200 up front and the cost is $1000 every two years. This, then, is what people are willing to pay for their personal technology habit.
(The Droid X has an HDMI output port, allowing it to display HD video on your TV. Make that a monitor port, and give me a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and maybe I wouldn't need to buy another computer. Are you listening, Motorola?)
What did people buy with that $2000 every few years before 1994? ...Stereos, maybe?