What can I tell you? I said games you "know" will fill your life with days and weeks of thrills and joy, not games you hope will do so. I don't buy games unless I'm as confident as I can be that they'll justify their price. Fallout 3? Collector's Edition on release day. Call of Duty 4? 50 bucks is still too high; once it hits 30, I'll be on it like Funk on a WoW-hater. I want "perfect products for free," but I also believe that some games are in fact worth their rather high prices. What those games are may vary from person to person.
I definitely see what you mean.
I don't have any sure things anymore.
BioShock, for me, was a letdown. I abandoned it after two hours.
Half-Life 2, for me, was a letdown. I still played through it to see what everyone else was raving about, but I definitely think it doesn't deserve half the praise that it gets.
Both of these could reasonably seem as "sure things" to, well, anyone who's played video games, liked Deus Ex, liked Half-Life, &c. Yet they just totally blew it. Blew it so hard they even made me question why I liked those earlier games in the first place.
I've bought quite a few games at the $30-60 price range recently, and I've had a miserable hit rate. The only game I'm at all looking forward to is Mass Effect 2, and there's like a 50% chance I still won't buy it. :/
I'm definitely a total outlier as far as the jadedness goes, but, well, that's basically why I'm not spending any money on video games right now -- despite the fact that I have money to spend.
Then again, I imagine that, for some people, the "sure thing" is only worth $20 and the "maybe" is just a product they don't buy.