Well I've just started thinking about this today. Two days ago when I bought my new bass, one of the people at the shop said he would give me a free cable for it. I already had a cable at home, but how could I turn down a free offer? Anyways, the cord is an 18.5ft Mogami Gold Premium cable which would have cost me $50. The cable I already had was a 20ft Whirlwind EGC20 cable which only cost me $10 when I got it. My question is, is there any difference between the two cables besides length? I would think the Mogami would be higher quality since it cost more, but I don't really notice a difference between them. I like using the 20ft cable because it gives me a little more room for movement, but I would use the 18.5ft cable if it meant better sound quality or anything else important like that. I would like to know this since I don't know anything about cables, and also so I'll know what cord to use for gigs.
possibly the cables life will last longer. it depends on how well the jack is protected by its shell
The gold cable will conduct electricity better than the 10 dollar one... supposedly it gives you a less degraded signal from the guitar to the amp... the only problem is that it's plugged into input/outputs that don't have as good conductivity. I don't notice any difference between the $60 gold cables and the standard 10-20 dollar cable.
My rig:

Ibanez Jetking 2 (electric)
Hohner HW300-G TBK (acoustic)

Peavey Encore 65
Crate CP-150 and building my own cabinet in the summer

Boss DS-1 Distortion
Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Dunlop Cry-Baby Wah
to tell you the truth, no its a gimmick. companies make it look all pretty (gold ends, steel braided wire, its out there) and people go "oooh gold, it must be good" and shill out 150 dollars that costs 7 bucks to make (seriously, it happens, im in home theater) and those cables are worse than the ones that came with the comonet you bought.

so if you are paying more than 20 bucks for a cable, its most likely a rip.
even if the plugs are gold plated, after plugging/unplugging a few times, the plating will scrape away.

Any shielded instrument cable should work fairly the same. Unless you're one of those audiophiles, then anything less than a $50 instrument cable sounds like absolutely crap.
^yea, totally agree.
since i deal with alot of audiophiles, its fun to proove them wrong. i sit them in a room, and have 4 speakers in front of them (one of each brand, on each side, brand A is hooke dup on left, brand B on right) and ask which side sounds better. they will say what is, and i ask which speaker it is, and they will say "the bose" when its the speaker WE brought that cost 1/4 the price. then they feel like asses.

but make sure its not utter crap. i like hosa cables and they are around 15 to 20 bucks. tweed covering, and shrinked wrapped connections, works for me