In the US, with the continuing stratification of the wealthiest people, the top quarter of a percent of the population has a net worth of around $22M+. That means about 300,000 households. Picking that number is not random. It is the point at which the US estate tax starts for a couple (or the surviving spouse). The tax rate above $22M is 40%, so anything that is purchased that doesn't count in your net assets (or can easily be hidden from view for estate tax purposes) effectively has a 40% discount. (Note: Charitable gifts have a double or triple bonus since they don't have estate tax, capital gains tax and get a tax deduction).
That means in the US, there are 300,000 households, where buying a very high end system (say $250,000 or more) has little effect on their actual net worth.
I told the story in the Ferrari section of the father-in-law of our niece (married 18 months ago) with whom I have been paired with for several family dinners recently because of his supposed interest in hifi. He said he doesn't listen much and it took him two dinners before he remembered the name of his speakers (B&W). He did speak with some excitement about his Ferraris, included his recent La Ferrari purchase. He said he was a very good customer of Ferrari. I don't know much about cars, but asked him how long he had been buying Ferraris. He said, about 30 years. And how many had he purchased. He said 30. A fancy hifi system is chump change for him. He also collects old cameras and fancy watches. He is about 70, just a few years younger than me.
From folks I know and however many posts I've read, the component whose looks influences people more than any other is the turntable.
There seems to be several different camps; there's: the exotic/pretty wood plinth, often heavily plasticized (eg artisan fidelity), the shiny bling camp with plenty of polished/chromed metal (eg transrotor, whatever is that below), the 'technical' look (eg kronos, tw akustik, techdas) , the clear acrylic/lucite group (eg basis, pro-ject,mcintosh, scheu), the classic look (eg sota, kuzma, vpi, linn), with combinations and variations of these, and others. Plinth size and leg towers may be other aesthetics.
I would agree with that; visuals have a greater influence on humans than sounds.
For animals sounds might have a greater influence, and smell too.
Another thing with turntables...the entire discipline of the TOUCH.
Humans love touching stuff and people; from the first time you take a new album from its sleeve to all the touching ritual that follows it.
With digital there is zero touch; it's all robot artificial intelligence.
A turntable is easier to evaluate visually than say a CD player or music server (streamer).
Our auditory sense is also influenced by our visuals.
...Except in quasi total darkness.
So I agree 100% with you Tima. And hiend TT manufacturers do too.