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Hard Water

<snip> The question is where do you get the distilled water from?  This
is a "make or buy" decison.  By distilled, do you mean steam distilled? 
This doesn't seem practical to me.  Most of us use either reverse osmosis
or a deionizing column (like the Tap Water Purifier) to create soft water
and mix it with our existing tap water until we arrive at our desired GH
and alkalinity.  Both R.O. and D.I. units are expensive, but buying
bottled distilled water at the grocery store would be worse.
<end snip>

My experience is different.  I have a friend who has a RO system for her
aquarium.  I asked her about the cost and how it works as I was
considering buying one for myself.  However, when I got through figuring
out the cost per gallon, it worked out to a little over $0.35.  There are
numerous places here is Houston (read vending machines) where you can by
RO water for $0.25 per gallon, and one I visit regularly for $0.20. 
Fifteen cents per gallon may seem small, but start adding up all the
gallons you  use, and you will find a significant cost difference,
especially when I drive by the place (to get the cheap water) on my way

Of course, this is Houston, where you don't really drink sink water, you
just sort of chew it.  (We have very hard water!)  Also, I don't know how
common water vending machines are in other cities, so your milage may
vary. ;)