Personally, I think confirming or refuting the existance of the Higgs Boson is a worthy goal.
It'a amazing how often people say stuff like this a waste of time, and when it finally delivers, it is taken for granted.
Discovery does not follow a predictable path, and all models that try to valuate these things are a lot more suspect than the actual science and engineering being done.
In fact, in comparison, the valuations are pure B.S. The world's top V.C. companies know this, and that's why they don't hire investment bankers. Some are fomously quoted as saying, "if you're background is sales or engineering we want you, but if it is finance or investment banking look somewhere else."
Finance is a crude instrument at best. We may try to hedge, and balance corellations, etc. but the world runs on black-swans not random processes--chaos is very different from randomness, they just look alike on the surface.
(I guess I am responding to arguments made in the media, not this thread, but it'll eventually come up)
Seriously, who are you going to trust? The community of financial idiots wizzards who created the global credit crisis by failing miserably at making predictions (and who have historically consistantly fail often), or the community of seasoned scientists who actually succeed in making predictions with phenomenal accuracy on a regular basis?
Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future. Robot Fusion
"As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
"[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
"[P]etabytes of  data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield
Argh, it got pushed back again? I've been following articles on the LHC for a while now, though if what it says is true (and there are no further delays) we won't see any digestable data for at least a year.
...Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark...