Back in 1994, I got what was reported to be the first Specialized S-Works FSR frame to come into the United States, on an Employee Purchase deal. I was ultra-excited to have it, and I immediately set to building it up with the parts I had been stockpiling as I had waited for it to arrive.
I pulled the Specialized Future Shock off of it, and replaced it with a Manitou 3, built up some wheels with A/C hubs, installed cranks from the same company, etc. When it was done, it was a pretty fancy bike (but still weighed in at 27 pounds).
Soon after I got it finished, one of our customers came in a fell in love with my bike. He wanted one just like it, except he wanted to retain the carbon-legged Future Shock.
I told him that I had no idea what it would cost to build, though. I had spent 6 months gathering up parts and components, and I hadn't really kept up a running total of what was on my account, and what I had spent cash on.
He told me that money was no object, and to just get everything together.
So, I started ordering parts. As I invoiced everything, I was pretty shocked. The retail cost of Geoff's bike, without buying a replacement suspension fork, was $5800.00...in 1994!
Even with my employee discount, that meant that I had somewhere in the neighborhood of $3500 to $4000 invested in mine. Keep in mind that I was only making about $14000 a year, at that time, working in the shop.
I can guarantee you that the ext time I built myself a bike, I kept a little better track of what I was spending...