In general I only desire things for what they can actually do for me. It's unusual that I want something purely for aesthetic reasons. Please bear in mind I am talking about THINGS. Not another subject, which is another subject.
The exceptions to this rule are motorcycles and cameras. I love retro cameras and I want to own them all. I love them for how they look AND what they can do. I don't want an old Leica Rangefinder. I used to have a Postwar 3C and while it was cool I didn't find it particularly useful and sold it at a camera show. This is exactly what it looked like:
What I love is the new Leica M9 or the Fuji X100. They look like old 35mm Rangefinder cameras, but they are actually very modern sophisticated digital cameras.
This Fuji looks cool right? It's actually a pretty decent 10MP digital camera. No way on earth it's worth $1200 but that's what lusting after something is all about right? They have to be somewhat out of reach. The Leica M9 is even more so, retailing for around $9000. Very awesome, very not what I want to spend for a digital camera.
I do have the same preoccupation with motorcycles. I love new bikes with old styling. I appreciate the looks of the actual old bikes, but just like with digital cameras the technology just makes so much better.
Car manufacturers have been trying this trick lately too, with the Camaros and Mustangs, Minis and Fiat 500s. Some people would say they do it because they've run out of new ideas. I don't know if I'd agree with that. I just think they're recognizing that some ideas that have happened before were really good ideas.