Power or cost of rig is not an issue, antenna and propagation knowledge is.
One of my most memorable contacts was with VQ9LA on 80 meters (Yes, I'm bragging
, but seriously - I was blown away, I didn't even know it was possible) It was a grey line contact running a K2 @ 5 watts to a windom @ 40'. I actually turned off the rig and had decided it must have been a mistake or pirate. Then it showed up in LoTW. And then I got the card!
I apologize that I don't have any SSB comments to add because I don't work SSB, but I really enjoyed reading the SSB comments and stories. Thanks all!