A 3-pack of good-quality CFLs costs about $6 at Wal-Mart. Still about 3x the cost of the same number of incandescents, although the CFLs last a lot longer, and use sufficiently less energy to pay for themselves over their lifetime
As good little consumers I know that's what we're supposed to think, but:
1. my experience has shown that CCFL's need replacing much more frequently than incandescents ever did.
2. they only consume less energy if they're left on for long periods (> 30 mins or so) as they have quite high start-up currents until they come up to operating temperature (1-5 minutes).
3. they output much higher levels of UV than incandescents, aggravating some skin conditions and causing retinal damage with some people.
4. they also contain hazardous chemicals such as mercury, complicating their disposal - our local city council has no *legal* means of CFL disposal yet, with most people just throwing them in with the regular refuse.
I think that our (Australian) federal government having "phased out" incandescent bulbs is a premature action. I'd rather see LED lighting get traction but, again, hazardous chemicals.