I love my cello - his name is Henry, and he goes with me everywhere. Yesterday I walked backwards into my case and he nearly toppled to the ground. Thankfully I caught the case in time, and exclaimed "phew - at least it's insured!" I felt extremely guilty and apologised to Henry immediately just in case he thought I'd replace him at the drop of a hat (or a cello).
I am not, however, attached to my bow, despite the fact that it spends 80% of its week attached to my arm when I'm playing. We constantly argue over the best rosin to use, and sometimes it just doesn't respond when I ask it to make more sound. The poor thing also gets whacked on music stands more often than I'd like to admit.
Think of a string player's bow like a nice car. A cheap car with a great safety rating and ice-cold air conditioning will see you through most of the driving you need to do in Australia. But a nice car is a pleasure to drive. It grips the road with confidence, glides around corners with minimal fuss, navigates for you, and even helps you park. A better bow might even mean fewer playing-related injuries if you find your self sacrificing posture and technique just to play a proper cello fortissimo. When your playing standard extends beyond the capacity of your bow, your potential is held back.
These are all ideas I've been familiar with for years now, but the other day I tried another cellist's bow and sighed with relief at the immediate ease of spiccato, responsiveness of sound, and agility with which it moved around the strings. I held on to it (literally) as long as I could before I reluctantly swapped it back for my own bow, now inadequate in my eyes.
I've got a serious case of bow envy - time to start setting my spare change aside.