I used to think this way UNTIL I actually started paying for downloads.
These days I'm getting albums 100% legally via download at about £2 a throw and I've realised that if I spend £10 on a cd then I'm doing exactly that, paying a tenner purely for a plastic disc.
I've realised, in short, that paying for downloads is the better way to buy music because then all you're paying for is the music. I get about six albums a month for the price of one and a half albums before. Seeing as I used to buy at least an album a week I'm basically saving £25 a month and getting more music at the end of it.
So what's the huge attraction of owning a plastic disc? I can still see it somewhat. There's a completist geek in me which means I will certainly buy the new Fiery Furnaces album on cd despite having had the music on mp3 for a good few months.
I've just forked out for Radiohead's 'Disc Box' and I'll definitely keep buying Constellation Records things on cd because the packaging is so beautiful. So I can definitely see the attraction of packaging when it's genuinely nice. But is most cd packaging so nice that you're really glad to own it?
Plus the other thing is that I don't listen to cds. All my music is on my computer and that's where I listen to it. So there have been occasions where I've downloaded an album before it came out, subsequently bought the cd for ethical/completist reasons and literally NEVER listened to the disc. It just goes on the shelf and remains unplayed.
So basically I don't think there are any very good reasons for 'never' paying for downloads. Especially if it's the only way to get something. If your favourite band did a download only single would you refuse to pay for it?
Does music only have a monetary value if they put it on a plastic disc? if so why?