Hey everyone, I just wanted to share the good news that my investment in mining hardware has finally been completely paid off.
A friend wandered into my office in early June talking about bitcoin and how it's going to change the world. Over the next few weeks I bought 5 Sapphire 5830's and some other related mining equipment (motherboard, CPU, memory, UPS) for a total of just over $900. Since then I've been mining and selling coins to earn the $900 back. This morning I sold my last 3 coins and the money is heading toward my bank account via dwolla. What a great feeling! It's a rare hobby that actually pays for itself.
The 5830's are still mining and will keep going as long as the difficulty doesn't get too ridiculous. Now it's time to decide what to do with the next batch of coins. I have my doubts about the "hold forever" mentality but buying from btc-friendly merchants seems like a good way to support the community.
Here's an idea - someone should start the bitcoin equivalent of an "organic" store. That would mean that they guarantee to not cash out the btc gained from sales, but rather use them to acquire the goods they need. Like if the alpaca socks guy promised to only use his bitcoins to buy goods for his own family. The more we can remove fiat from the supply chain the less the exchange rates will matter.