LS over at Papers and Pencils has written an interesting piece about a trouble many people seem to have - what should their players do with all their money?
I don't tend to have that problem, as I use historically researched prices and plausible starting money, which ends up resulting in what a lot of people would probably think of as a pretty meagre starting-out package.
To illustrate why I think the traditional D&D prices and starting money are broken beyond belief, here's an example.
Consider that in England about 1450, a suit of mass-produced Milanese plate armour cost about 8 pounds sterling - about 2000 silver pennies.
A skilled labourer would make about 4 silver pennies a day.
Now consider that in D&D starting gold is 3d6x10gp, and a suit of plate mail costs 60gp.
That means that an average starting character in D&D has saved up the equivalent of 750 days pay for an average day labour BEFORE THE GAME STARTS, based on this example.
Where I am, the minimum wage (what a day labourer would make) is about $11/hr, skilled labour maybe $15. 750 day's wages at that rate is about $90,000 - three years salary. Consider that for a moment - if you use Basic Edition prices, you're starting your players each with enough money to buy cash for Porsche 911, or live comfortably for about three years without working.
Think about what you would do with $90,000 in cash. What material wants would you have unsatisfied if that was dropped in your lap today?
If you're having trouble finding things for the players to buy in town, consider that things are too cheap and starting gold too high.