It seems like most of the pet owners I know of, adopt their cats or dogs from animal shelters which is wonderful!  It's much cheaper to adopt and there are so many pets that need homes.
I have adopted my cats from a shelter over the years and have thoroughly enjoyed having them in my life.  Despite the responsibility and cost of having a pet, they bring so much joy on a daily basis that it's more than worth the cost and work!

If you are thinking of adopting a cat or dog there are great local resources: