I just read this article from a 'boob' that is supposedly in the IT industry that writes for a local internet news site. With the results of one person's office they are providing their knowledge and opinion on whether a UPS is needed or not and they say NOT. How pathetic. It is like a life insurance policy.. you never want your equipment to die but having no protection for when there are power outages and more importantly the power spike/surge that basically takes out the power supply and, depending on the quality of your power supply, will also take out your CD/DVD player and quite possibly your motherboard as well. So where does this fit in to the cost overall? For starters, an 'entry level UPS' can be had for $59.99 not $100 to there's $40 you are saving. Secondly, the UPS you buy, even that entry level one, is going to be a lot better than a surge protected power bar. It is the shutting down of your computer gracefully that will save things in the end, not to mention that all UPS devices offer a constant output voltage for your computer, meaning that when the day does arrive where your power supply does fail due to old age, the fact that your computer is plugged in to a UPS means that the power will be killed IMMEDIATELY and no further power surge will take part on the rest of your components. I have personally witnessed many such systems that in my honest opinion, were saved simply due to the fact that the computer was in fact plugged in to a UPS.
It is for articles like this that make me cringe at how it can drive people so far from what should be the most essential part of any major computer purchase. True, the computer prices are dropping and true, I would NEVER suggest purchasing an extended warranty as you generally will never need it. If something is going to go wrong on a new computer, it typically happens within the first 30 days. The most common items to fail are the power supply and hard drive, both of which are replaceable. Just make sure you have a good offsite backup plan such as BACKBLAZE!