Advice needed!

I have one more idea... may be waaay out there-- but tell me what you think. Since you don't usually do this, could you possibly ask for a nice bag as a graduation gift? (I'm not sure when you graduate). That way, if you have been lusting and wanting it, but you dont have to spend what you have been saving-- it might be better.

Bags are great- but sometimes you may feel bad for buying such an expensive one after. I agree with FendiBagLady- if you get a big huge purchase, you won't want to go down much after that! It is hard to. Let us know your decision!!
Thanks so much to all of you for your help! I've decided to let it rest for a week until I get to go check out the bag in person. I have a feeling that I won't get it -- as much as I'd love to, and will agonize over it I'm sure, I know that I WOULD beat myself up for spending so much money. I have no problem when other people spend that much, but I know that it would bother me personally at this stage in my life.

So right now I'm on the hunt for some kind of cheaper replacement. And hey, who can argue with an excuse to go shop? Sometimes hunting for these things is even better than owning them.

Again, thanks so much for all your advice, I'll let you know what I think once I see the bag in person!!!
And FendiBagLady: you have a VERY good point! When I bought my $300 bag, I thought it was completely insane and vowed that I'd never get even close to that again. Now that doesn't feel like much! Especially when at boards like this on the internet, it feels sometimes like $500 bags are normal. But then I look at the people in my family and my friends and realize how completely crazy that is.
Pietonne, I wish I had been a bit more conscientious (and like you). Once you step on that slippery slope it is hard to go back. Case in point: my first year of law school I started buying Kenneth COle shoes. I loved them; they were good quality and not outrageously expensive. Then came a fatal day at an upscale mall in Orlando where I saw that Jimmy Choo was having a half off sale. Once I tried on that first pair of Choos...needless to say I now have a closet full of Choos, Manolos, Pradas, etc., the value of which could have sent me on a one year trip around the world. And I'm not kidding. I can't buy cheaper shoes anymore because I have gotten myself used to ridiculously expensive ones. And now I think $500 is a standard price for shoes. HOw absurd is that? It is ridiculous. And my savings? nearly nonexistent.

If you live in NYC, I could recommend a GREAT bag store with beautiful bags from up and coming designers, in the $300 range. If not, Cynthia Rowley and Francesco Biasia make some really nice, more affordable bags. I guarantee you that you can find one you like just as much . Save the pricey bags for when you are older - you will have a lifetime to waste money. Save now, have the last laugh later! I wish I had.
I second everything that has been said. Every once in a while when I stop and realize what I consider 'reasonable' for a handbag, its scary. No one, not my husband, not anyone knows the value of what I have stowed in my closet. It did start with s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g to buy something at just under $1,000 and now that seems like an opening price point. And the fact truly is that these are fashion items. As much as you might want/hope/think that you'll have it forever, you likely won't be as enamored in a few years time. You're so much better off waiting until that money is truly disposable income, not hard earned savings.
Again, thanks for your words of wisdom. All of them sound so true, and I KNOW that I too would fall prey to the addictive nature of designer bags if I bought one now.

FendiBagLady -- I am indeed in NYC, what store are you referring to? I'd be VERY excited to see it!