The obstacle to this perfect plan is that most families and friends would be...taken aback to find out that you want the Vagasorous 9000 with rotating attachments. I would give you some other examples via links, but I am unfortunately updating in a public place and have no desire to be the creeper in the corner. Later, perhaps!
There's also the unfortunate perpetuation of "romantic" gifts: flowers (that die), jewelry (ugly) and various strange and malformed stuffed animals (that stare at you). And the guilt! I speak as a student here, but knowing how much roses cost; if your significant other can afford it, lovely. If not, that is the cost of a nice dinner right there and did you know that if you leave flowers in unfriendly conditions they rot? In horrifying ways? And your long-suffering roommate then must deal with the persistent fungus that is actually an alien in disguise? TRUE FAX. Don't do flowers in a dorm room. Just...don't. We're lucky that it wasn't the kind of alien that crawls up your nose and bursts out of your chest.
Perhaps it is my inner straw feminist that makes me profess to not like the stereotypical fluffy "I love you" gifts. True, the act of giving itself means something. This person cares enough to go out and spend money on you, presumably with the aim of making you happy...Unless you are in one of those exchange relationships that are squicky on all sides of the equation: if you buy me flowers you get some tail. If you do not buy me flowers, you get the cold shoulder. I must buy you gifts because it is required by socially mandated days! Buying you things is the only way I show my affection! (Yes, yes, these are stereotypes, not actually how it goes all the time, I'm being lazy, etc.) This is actually a post of its own, and I have lost my train of thought completely. This is too long, I sum up; healthy relationship, you can afford it, sure, buy me flowers. If you can really afford it, buy me a supervibe. And there are so many other awesome ways to show affection not involving moneys. .
Cheesy picnics and oral sex, anyone? Perhaps not at the same time.
Personal sidenote: I must admit now that the last gift my current partner got me was a pair of my own socks and an electrical engineering textbook. To the uniformed, this is not the most inspiring gift in the world--it leaves something to be desired on the "sexy" front. Because I am a strange human being, I found it hilarious. And if you think about it, it's a pretty expensive gift, given the nature of textbooks nowadays. I got him back, for Chaunnuka he received a pair of his own socks, poorly wrapped. But hey, they had been washed!