I didn't get a chance to buy a new Hurricane last night due, in no small part, to a slow freight train causing a delay in my train arriving in my station. But that gave me a bit of time to think about what "pimping out" a ship really means.
First, I don't think PvPers really pimp out a ship unless it is a capital or supercap. I think the majority of PvP pilots weigh the cost of expensive fittings vs. the risk of losing their ships. So the people with the really pimped out ships tend to run missions.
That said, I think there are three types of pimping out a ship. The first is when a pilot has a low amount of skill points. At that point, tech 2 gear is a dream so a pilot will try to obtain meta-level gear. As the isk accumulates in the wallet (and equipment falls off rats), players will want to maximize their capabilities by acquiring meta-level 3 and 4 gear. In some cases, meta-level 4 gear is actually more expensive than its tech 2 equivalent.
I'm in a middle phase. Now that I have the skills for most tech 2 gear, I want all my fittings to be tech 2. I'm still not using tech 2 ammo in missions, but just about everything else except rigs are tech 2. Tech 2 represents a lot of planning and is the carrot that is dangled in front of players. Once you can have it, you want it.
The last phase is the over the top, top of the line equipment. Those are the billion isk mission ships with billions of isk worth of faction fittings. I'm sure if I ever get enough isk together that I'll wind up having one or two ships like that. But having a flashy ship just isn't my style. From playing a ranger in EverQuest 2 to flying Prowlers and Cheetahs in Eve, I prefer hiding in the shadows and striking when least expected. Besides, I'd rather buy and equip another ship than get the faction fittings. And I have a lot more ships I want to buy first.