You are absolutely right... especially because being now retired (and since my pension is administered by my wife, the Queen of the Manor), I can afford only cheap novelties...
I'm living in a small village, there are no flea markets nearby, so my only possibility is to look on the Internet (mostly on eBay) and select interesting projects on the "cheap" side.
I was attracted by 400days clocks because they look simple, the innards are big enough to work in a comfortable way, and I was not aware of the many unexpected subtleties I was going to face.
But now I have acquired some experience; if I find something aesthetically interesting and I'm able to fix it properly, I can make nice presents from them.
Years ago, when I was still active and making a nice profit, I was able to stack away some nice tooling, like that microscope, the watchmaker's lathe, and so on.
So it's time to put all this stuff to good use!
My next project will be to restore a couple of Schatz 53 with lantern case; both are not working due to mistreating, but I think that I will be able to fix them, now.