I have always loved microscopes, but I never really needed one before getting into electronics. My eyes have never been great, so I have had to rely on magnifying glasses to check my soldering... but it can be a slow and difficult process. A USB microscope, like the G1200, comes with a sturdy stand and makes both soldering and review a much easier experience. This 12MP (1080p video) microscope is USB powered but has an internal battery that is good enough for a couple of hours. It was only $70 Canadian, although it took three months to arrive.
I staged this photo, just to show how the microscope works at low magnification levels. Here, you can see a view of some address bus traces. The previous photo shows a resistor on one of the display boards.
The reason I bought this microscope was to help with soldering, but it is useful for reading very faded text on old ICs as well. I tested it with some old coins, and could not believe the detail when zoomed right in, so a microscope like this could be useful to a lot of hobbies... perhaps much more useful than with electronics.