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The Shrinkage Is Good blog—an excellent source for interesting financial tidbits on a personal level and part of—has gathered information and compared four popular smartphones by total cost of ownership. This is what I would term “low fruit for bean-counters”, but it is not the method many propellerheads use to figure out whether we can afford something, and I think that’s a shame. In my experience, geeks are task-oriented and thus tend to miss the forest for the trees. Or the lichen on the trees. Or the tardigrades living in a droplet in the lichen on the trees. You get the picture.

If anything good comes from the current recession, I hope it is that we will all have a slightly stronger grasp on the impact what we spend, and start seeing the forest a bit.

Also check out JD Roth’s excellent personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly. And for those who need a few more tardigrades to feel sane, Wired has a video demo of Droid.

Full disclosure: I live in the forest.