My philosophy is Moneyball as far as collecting cards are concerned.
Staying away from retail product is difficult, but I like think that I'd rather pick up something I consider as 'neat,' for that $10-$15 I'd spend for packs anywhere.
I like rookie cards, but don't get involved in buying up rookie year parallels, I unless I pull one in a pack.
I do not gamble with any boxes.
I like stars, superstars, HOFers and other favorites.
Vintage may as well be out of sight, out of mind though I believe it is important.
I worry that I'm just a cursory collecting, but then I realize it is all for leisure. The caveat is that making sure that I need to gauge value accurately, so that I don't go bust. I don't want to spend too much on cards that have no real future value.