I have never understood this. It's quite true, but I just don't understand why people don't include recurring/ongoing costs when they work out how much something costs overall. i.e. do $30 * 12(or24) months + $200 vs $600 and note that after say 18 months they'll be saving money. This applies to many areas of life (cars, phones, utility bills/energy efficiency etc). I don't mind if people still take the 'higher installments' route, perhaps because they don't have the cash upfront; it's the way that few people even bother to make the comparison that I find hard to understand.
Perhaps it's no wonder the western world collapsed under epic debt levels, given how even simple arithmetic seems to be beyond much of the populace.