There are few jobs in the lives of radiologists which equal the frustrations encountered in the purchase of new equipment. The objectives of the purchase from the radiologist's point of view are quite simple; that is to produce radiographs of excellent image quality with great efficiency and reliability built into the machine at the lowest possible cost. Unfortunately, most of these objectives are diametrically opposed to one another. While most salesmen would have us believe that image quality is directly proportional to cost, I am not convinced that this is true, since radiographic image quality seems to have changed very little over the decades, while the cost has continuously and steeply increased. I realize of course that the fluoroscopic image has improved considerably with image amplification. Efficiency and convenience of operation certainly are inversely proportional to the reliability of any piece of equipment. I cannot ever remember anything going wrong with the bracket on the wall which held up the 14 x 17 cassette for a chest x ray, while the transport mechanisms in the automated chest units periodically strike, because the humidity in the room makes the films too sticky, or, if the film is alright, the microswitches stick. On the other hand, the number of patients which can be accommodated per unit time with an automated chest unit is truly astronomical. This example of course is an absurd one, and I use it only to emphasize the incompatibility of objectives, which we attempt to meet in purchasing equipment.