There is no need for anyone to take what I said personally, or to "take offense." I wanted to express my opinion that sometimes we suggest a Lexus to a would-be hobbyist when he or she is still driving a bicycle.
An excellent point was made by sn8k to the effect that an inexperienced person with a question doesn't always state his financial situation up front.
Perhaps that could be determined before the advice is given.
But even if a person says that he or she can afford to spend several hundred dollars to set up his first 10 gallon planted tank, I question whether it is appropriate to say that the best (or only) way to go is to go high tech. The new hobbyist should have the options laid out for him, and that is what I have tried to do from time to time.
^iMp^, I agree hi tech is the most effective way to grow the largest number of plants "if you know what you you're doing", but there is a steep learning curve, perhaps steeper and with a higher tuition than many new people want to undertake. I do not agree that it is the "easiest", though. Just scanning the "Lighting", "Dosing", "Substrate", "CO2", etc., questions on this and other boards belies that. While those topics are interesting and I read most of them
for educational purposes, I would not be as relaxed if I had an expensive green (or brown) mess in my living room.
Fill an aquarium with mud? I'd suggest you do that only if you were raising clams, and even then . . .
Thanks for all the comments.