I really like this question and the way it's posited. i sit here trying to compose some sort of thoughtful, worthwhile response yet my synapses seem to fail me. i think what appeals to me most is the timeless aristocrat/pleb issue--not quite the 'haves' and 'have-nots'.
History is rife with examples, not the least of which is our own (American). The Founding Fathers all were aristocratic despite how well spun our school history and social studies textbooks were. They believed the common man, the poor laborer wasn't properly educated enough or experienced enough--certainly not wealthy enough--to properly understand, much less exercise, their voting power. The monarchical context of the word 'subject' illustrates the disdain the upper crust had for the broader masses.
I'm not entirely sure there is any such implication of snobbery where our hobby is concerned--not that I believe the OP intended nor implicitly stated such. But it is certainly within human nature to at least feel a bit more special if you get to use a high end/more expensive product, a little grander or slightly superior to shop at Whole Foods than Kroger/Walmart (though I am very reticent to shop at WF--I have a certain fondness for my money).
I agree with this. Upon further reflection I find that I'm drawn toward artisan soaps, and a razor double in cost of what I thought was reasonable 10 years ago. But I use a boar brush and a cracked bowl from the kitchen for lathering. I have the need to rationalize, only way I can justify a "good"razor.Id say that Im somewhere in the middle. I enjoy some of the artisan stuff: Timeless razor, mostly artisan soaps but I do enjoy the common man stuff too: Omega and Semogue boar brushes, drug store aftershave (Aqua Velva or Skin Bracer) and I will buy VDH or Arko if there arent any current artisan soaps that Im interested in.