I write software for a living so I know how much work is involved and as a result of that I'm more than happy to spend money buying software.
Here's a few things I've purchased in recent weeks which make me happy.
Upgrade to Elgato EyeTV 3 (well 3.3.3 by the time I got to it).
I use it to record TV programs so that I can avoid the curse of "FreeView", the interminable ad breaks. The great show "The Pacific" is almost ruined by them.
V3 has a very cool ability to stream live and recorded shows to an iPhone app not only around the house but out over the internet. You can also view the TV guide and set it to record remotely.
I'm using an old Firewire Elgato box that has run for years and serves me well just on rabbit ears.
Maybe it's just me but my world of passwords had turned into a bit of a shambles and it was time to sort this out. 1Password will generate and securely store all your passwords. It has a neat browser plugin that pops up when you log in to something and offers to store the password.
When you do come to a login page you can right click and it will select the likely username and password for you and then fill in the form. There's even an iPhone version that does a similar cute hack.
I'm writing this in MarsEdit 3, another upgrade. It's just more pleasant to create blog posts on a local app than in the web page.
This version add a styled editor that I'm not sure I'm in love with but it's been a solid product for many years and I'm a loyal upgrader.
Evernote is certainly a great thing. Store random notes and they are synced between your computers phones and pads.
When I say free, it has unobtrusive ads and I don't use it enough to get into commercial territory. It has the ability to take a scan of a page and OCR it for searching but I'm yet to get in to all this paperless living.
As an aside, increasingly I'm getting invoices and pay slips electronically rather than in the post. While they claim it's to save paper, really it just transfers the printing from them to me. (My accountant isn't quite ready to not get a pile of paper from me). It saves them postage I guess.
Dropbox syncs a folder on one machine to a folder on your other machines. You get 2GB free and then you pay beyond that.
It works amazingly well, astonishingly well, so well, I wanted to understand how. Today I dragged the disk image of the new Google Chrome beta into my dropbox sync'd folder (26Mb) and it was synced in a second.
The trick is that they look across everyone's files (securely) and if you try to sync a file that matches one they already have somewhere they just point to the one they have. Beyond that I guess they do something like rsync because it's all very smooth and fast.
This works so much better than the Apple Mobile Me iDisk that gave me all sorts of grief, I've decided to let go of Mobile Me when my subscription comes up. Very disappointed with Apple on this - it all looks lovely but apart from the calendar and contacts sync it's overpriced and under powered.
Notational Velocity is a little notepad with search as you type that works as well as a wonderful notes app I used to use in the old days of System 7. I think it came from the folks that made Omnis 3 but I can't remember what it's called.
Evernote could learn from this product's search as you type.
While I'm here, other things I use on a regular basis include: Almost everything from the Omni group : OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, OmniOutliner, and OmniPlan. Parallels, Coda, Sequel Pro, BBEdit, TextMate, iWork, CocoaModem, Eclipse and PyDev.
Now I'm buying apps for the iPad which continues to make me happy.