Any early adopter has experienced the pain of a purchase followed by a price drop. It’s no fun. But enough with the hysteria that seems to be de rigeur these days whenever there’s a price drop (e.g. N.Y. woman sues Apple, Jobs over iPhone price cut).

The latest case: In response to Amazon’s MP3 efforts, Apple dropped the price of music downloads that are not protected by copy restrictions from $1.29 to 99 cents.

Cue the haters...

I’m an Apple fan, but it’s extremely annoying that every single Apple item I own (and I have several) significantly drops in price as soon as someone else comes along and shows us that prices don’t really have to be that high.

Sure, they gave a rebate to all those iPhone buyers who got the rug pulled out from under them, but what about my computer, my iPod and the songs I’ve been paying $1.29 for?

Apple could learn a thing or two about customer loyalty. Everything they make works great. But customers will eventually become wary of a company that pulls the financial wool over everyone eyes, price-gouging until someone points out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. By that point, the money’s already in their pocket. Then they’re left scrambling in an effort to justify why they’ve been charging so much more. I hope the monopoly ends soon. Apple is most dishonest to their own customers.

Annoying? Sure. But this is the way technology and capitalism work. If you paid $1.29 for a song or $599 for an iPhone, you felt you were getting your money’s worth (otherwise you shouldn’t have bought it). The song or the phone didn’t change, so suck it up.

A new car loses a significant amount of its value when you drive it off the lot. If you don’t like that, buy a used car. Similarly, if getting the best technology value is crucial to you, buy used gear (or just hang on to what you’ve already got).

But if you want the latest and/or greatest, accept the fact that what you’re buying will cost less in the future. It’s the way the game works.

Your best bet: Step 1) Only buy things that are worth the cost to you at that time. Step 2) Get on with your life.