It's not about owning the most expensive brush. It's about the care you give the brushes you've got...no matter what the cost was-you pay a big price when your brushes aren't given the proper care they need and deserve. So, I do my best to take the very best care of these little babies. Matter of fact? Some of them are older than my kids. I purchased most of these before I started dating my husband Joe, (nearly 18 years ago) and they STILL hold up. For the record -I prefer synthetic brushes. They seem better able to take the abuse I can dish out MUCH much more than the natural hair ones can. I usually go with nylon and usually a "ROUND" rather than a "FLAT"-but don't get me wrong, I have plenty of large flats too. These are fantastic for filling in larger areas of color quickly. THESE ARE SOME TIPS: DON'T STORE BRUSHES "BRUSH SIDE" DOWN DON'T SOAK BRUSHES IN WATER FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME DON'T WASH BRUSHES WITH HOT WATER DO USE A GENTLE SOAP TO CLEAN TOUGH DRIED-ON PAINT (I use Ivory Liquid or Johnson & Johnson's baby soap) DO WASH IN COLD WATER DO GENTLY BLOT DRY on a PAPER TOWEL DO STORE "BRUSH SIDE" UP or laying DOWN DO PLUCK STRAY HAIRS from YOUR BRUSH It's like my former Industrial Tech Professor (his name was Kermit-yeah, like the frog) once said "If you take good care of your tools -they'll take good care of you."