Frankly, if you are feeding and clothing any children you may have and generally meeting your financial obligations, it's not my place to judge you for any amount you may want to spend on a handbag. For me, I have a theoretical limit of $1500, although I have not yet spent half that amount. (OK, I spent half that amount). If you are willing and able to spend more, then I can only envy you.
My decision to purchase a new handbag was fraught with anxiety. Which one? I love so many, and a handbag is so much more than something in which to carry your stuff -- it's a commitment. I did not want to make a mistake. I knew that I wanted a satchel, I've always thought they looked most sophisticated. I went to department stores and did research on the web. I involved my whole office in the decision -- I brought in pictures and solicited my co-workers' opinions. The drama! I settled on a L.A.M.B. "Love Venezia" satchel by Gwen Stefani (believe me, I never thought I'd buy anything with a pop singer's name on it, but I fell for it). I've now had my Lambie for a few months - do I love it? Well, truth be told, if I had to do it over again, I might get something with a little less "bling" (I'm not crazy about the "L" on the front (I'm opposed to logos on principal) or the gold link on the handles). Also, I know now that rolled handles would be more comfortable to carry. BUT, I do love the hinge closure thingie that lets me open and close it easily. Also, it has this neat candy stripe lining on the inside that just tickles me when I open it up. All in all, I guess I'm pretty happy with it. (Then again, I was pretty happy with the practical leather tote from Levenger that was my last handbag).
There IS this Bottega Veneta beauty I eyed recently, but I cannot bring myself to spend my hard-earned cash on another handbag when I have a perfectly good one and could be making an extra principal payment on my mortgage. So for now, I'll stick with my L.A.M.B. satchel until I feel I've gotten sufficient use out of it. As a friend pointed out, it's almost like IT owns a little piece of ME now.