I began investing in studio gear very early.
I started off with a 4 tracks numeric recorder and a pair of monitoring speakers which followed me everywhere since then.
Against the trend, I chose to go hardware instead of working "in-the-box", I thought I spent too much time in front of a screen, and above all, I love tweaking parameters, knobs, managing units.
Compressors, reverb processors, tube preamps, analog delay, parametric EQ, stereo image processor,...
There is all the gear you need to record, mix and master all sorts of songs.
For a while, I've been using a 16 tracks mixer-recorder, but recently I upgraded my work station and the recording and editing stages are now all done on computer.