I look at a new rod based on its merits, and ignore marketing as much as possible. I have bought a couple of the latest and greatest in the past
few years, but only because I found them to be better than what I had.
In fact, I took out my $400+ rods from 10 years ago, and didn't like the
way they cast at all compared to the new stuff. I don't read FF'ing magazines, so I haven't really seen too much marketing for any company.
It is nice that there are gear-holics out there. When my rods get lost, stolen,
or broken, I'll be able to buy a new one from one