I do have to say that a "not really" would be my considered reply. My approach is that losing with a bid when buying medals is pretty like missing a bus. Usually another bus is in the offing - and something else in the medal line usually comes up to ease whatever tinge of regret remains about a missed item.
What does burn a little, however, is when one has splashed out years ago for a choice item (say, a DofL to Natal Corps of Guides) and a similar item is knocked in a recent sale for considerably less than forked out previously!
As Stephen Bayley once said, "We trudge on".
Well done every forum member who at least got something!
If it was the price paid for Sgt Vimpany's QSA that caused your discomfort, the result was by contrast a pleasant surprise for me, since the hammer price was about one third of my bid. It is an ill wind ...... !
Indeed, there is always regret at "the one(s) that got away", but IL's buses are a very good coping mechanism.
I find that after buying a medal, which usually follows sufficient research to justify the purchase, you then quickly look ahead to the next purchase before the first medal has even arrived! My current purchase from Spinks are the case in point.
This has led me to wonder why I buy medals when it seems that research is the real stimulant; no one needs to own the medal to do the research and get the satisfaction of uncovering "new" information.
I am of one accord with you on this Meurig. I have often asked myself why I bother to collect medals if researching the recipient is paramount. When calling on people to buy medals directly from them they ask "what are you going to do with them?" which, frankly, puts me at a loss for words sometimes.
My standard response, and the one that "consoles" me, is that it is pointless researching a fellow if you don't have his medals to show for your efforts. I then tell families the very same thing and offer to copy them in on my research findings.
Like you (and others), I do some perfunctory research into the recipient before taking the plunge. This is sometimes in the misguided hope that no-one else will pick up on something interesting which I may have uncovered.
Once the "rush" of acquiring the medal(s) has passed it is on to the next discovery. In the early days of my collecting I would feel unrequited if I didn't acquire a medal or group almost every day but, with the narrowing of my focus to purely Victorian and related medals, I found that I was having to make do with acquisitions once maybe twice a week.
With the recent Spink auction there was such a plethora of medals to my collecting theme on offer, and the prices they were fetching so reasonable, that I almost lost my self-control. As mentioned previously, I was "saved" from myself by my clumsy finger's inability to "slide" across my mobile phone to insert my bid. Were I more adept at this my bank account would have been in a deplorable state, but my avarice satisfied, albeit for a short while.
Now I find that, without even receiving these purchases, that I have already almost exhausted the research potential on some of them.