In all software companies I've worked at, human costs dwarf hardware costs.
Even twenty years ago, I remember being told that it's cheaper to buy a new hard disk than to hold a meeting to discuss if we really need one or not. :)
The exception is when we need that one disk for each of one thousand computers. The cost of a software work around may be much higher than one disk, but it would only be paid once. My managers always preferred the software solution regardless of the scale. You seem to have had a very wise one.