FAQ: Is owning more cost-effective than leasing?
The best solution depends on your situation. You may do a net present-value comparison between lease and purchase, and conclude that owning is cheaper. But as we described in the previous answer, the cost of cash is often higher than the debt rate.
Cash is a scarce asset on the balance sheet, and a reasonable position is to use the Weighted Average Cost of Capital as the discount factor.
Even if you believe today that the equipment will be kept for a long-time, a lot of things can change. A 36-month fair market value lease preserves substantial future flexibility at little or no additional cost.