Engineers, we are fussy nitpicking little critters aren't we? Looking back, I feel like most great things we accomplished were made to prove someone else wrong...
*EDIT: please take this post with a pinch of salt.
I was a science major in college.. for me it was not finding the truth, but getting close to what may be considered the truth... I was also a philosophy minor, but that was mostly deleted over time.
Truth is never found in science, its just made up from a bunch of hypotheses. Personally, the more involved in sciences I get, the more I feel like I NEED Philosophy to get by.
I like to think I take care of my stuff... I too keep the boxes... So maybe we are simply wanting to buy from those who share our presumptions... is that projecting in psychology? I took psychopathology in college... So I could diagnose cramming a lens where it doesn't belong... Butt, that is neither here nor there.
I see what you did there . I think I'll butt out of the conversation, it's getting stuffy in here.
Just because someone has the original box doesn't mean they've taken care of the item, but as you pointed out, those of us who do keep the original stuff feel more comfortable buying from others who do the same. Doesn't guarantee they took better care of the equipment, but it feels a bit more reassuring . . .
As for keeping boxes, I keep mine. However, I'm not sure how well I keep my gear compared to others. I have to admit shooting in pretty cold, or pretty wet, or dusty conditions without caring much. However, after shooting I try to clean a bit and store everything in a protective bag. I guess I'm in the lower echelons of people who take good care of their equipment.