The best investment we made was to purchase some fantastic real estate. All the buildings were handmade, but I had to paint them, which was no chore given the quality of build.
How many visual displays/games have been spoilt by poor real estate. In many cases the figures come second to the terrain set up. Gaming in the Colonies is a typical example, without wonderful buildings/forts/fortress walls, big ships, for me, it would be a visual disappointment.