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Fusion Drive or more RAM: Which one to get on a new Mac?

Marvin Schildkraut writes in with a very common question about what upgrade choices to make when purchasing a new Mac. He’s considering extra RAM and a Fusion Drive. The cost of these two options is not burdensome. However, I have been advised that the Fusion Drive can cause problems and is very expensive to repair. How likely are headaches? It costs $200 to upgrade an iMac from 8GB to 16GB at the time of purchase, and $100 to move from 1TB hard disk drive to the same rated capacity Fusion Drive.
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