Ok, first off. I don't have kids, the car is paid for, and I needed a decent microphone to add to the mic closet.
I was surfing the web one night and found Michael Joly over at OktavaMod.com, and I listened to his sound samples.
A quick search of Ebay and I found a used Rode NT1a for a song and had it shipped to Michael.
I've had it now for about a month and have been using it daily for various scripts and I have to say... I freakin' love it. It's everything the stock NT1a isn't. Lush and full, clear and warm. My new clients in California have been gushing about how great my stuff is. (it's embarrassing and bordering on flirtatious!)
I'm the first to admit, I like gear. I read the Sweetwater catalog cover to cover and check out musican's friends stupid deal of the day every morning, (I'll let you know about the MXL V900 in a few weeks) but my new Joly modded mic is amazing and I can't think of any reason to spend more. It's paid for itself already with landed auditions. (I'm the new national voice of the hawk for Identity Hawk)
So ya, I'm hooked. I'm going to go tell Michael right now that I'm a huge fan and I'm spreading the word of his outstanding work.