We waste so much time chasing “best” that there isn’t much time left to do much with that fine new tool when we finally get our hands on it. I know this because I see it every day.
A person who can wield basic manual tools with any skill can perform wonders with almost any tools. The rest of us, well, not. I say this gently because I know a bunch of fine people who manage to mangle WordPress (one of the world’s best website infrastructures) and aspirant writers who have Scrivener (world’s best writing tool) but have yet to produce any words at all, let alone a modern version of Hamlet. (Which was written with a hollow, rigid shaft of a goose feather dipped into ink, most of which ended up on Shakespeare’s hands and shirt.)
One can understand “best” in the context of a car, for instance, where it is unlikely you will ever get it to its full speed of 400km/h. That isn’t really the point. Rather, “best” in this case is simply to inspire the envy of others.
Many years ago I inspired some interest amongst members of the other gender when I mentioned that I drove a 323, back when a BMW was still pretty special. Mazda also had a 323, which was the one I drove, and I remember a few startled faces when I arrived for that first, usually brief, date.
But when it comes to tools, we are measured by what we produce. The cost of tools does not often correlate with how well they do the work we want done. Microsoft Word, for instance, is an amazing tool, and has a price tag to match.
Yet every version of Windows has a built in wordprocessor that is plenty good enough for 99% of people needing to write or print documents. (All of which can be done without all the training needed just to find the keyhole to start MS Word up in the first place.)
My preferred route these days is to find an open source tool and take it for a test drive. Open source is usually free, which is always a nifty price. A few hours messing around with the tool will teach me more about the genre than anything else could, and will give me enough knowledge find out whether this is something worth pursuing. And if it is, I will at least understand what it is that I really do need in the tool.
In that regard open source software is like free training.