It's not gear, but what about the mp3 format? It has completely changed music. Some would argue that it's for the worse, but I say "hey, how else can a guy like me, that would never get a deal, get his music out to the masses?" I can put up a free web site somewhere, upload a few mp3 files and I'm satisfied. People are hearing music I made. Yeah, it's not gonna get me the big house and fancy cars, or the spot on MTV's cribs, but that's not what matters.
By the way, this is my first post. I like this forum a lot!