I am struggling to find adequate words to do justice to these needles without sounding like an ad for a sex toy. Seriously, they give me so much pleasure, they have such a smooth and sensuous feel, they have taken the joy of knitting to a whole new level for me. The smooth and fine-grained wood ebony for me and the almost seamless joins where the hardware and cords connect, the way one needle slides against the other when you stitch...well it thrills me every time. Beautiful craftsmanship. Yes, you pay for it. And you get what you are paying for. How many more years/hours/minutes do you plan to knit? How many countless thousands of stitches will you take? When you look at it from that standpoint, the price isn't so bad. And friends, I use circular needles for everything. I won't go back to straight needles unless I have to. I love how they fit my hands and don't poke the cats that like to park themselves on the arm of my chair! The points aren't super sharp, but do the job nicely for most projects without pricking the finger that pushes on them. I have several other sets of circular needles, but this is by far my favorite. If you can get them without selling an organ to do so, by all means do so. They just make life better.