I'm a research addict. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've sat down to write, popped over to Google to research one tiny tidbit, and then became completely side-tracked for an hour! It's gotten to the point that I will shut off all Internet access, putting it placeholders where needed, just to write.
While research can be daunting, and sometimes a time-suck, it is also my sanctuary. I can get lost in a world of mythology and history. Stunning photos and haunting images can further develop my characters. I can become a stalker with Google Maps, drilling down to view the streets of a town. I mean, you can now view The Colosseum at Rome. Spin around inside. Seriously amazing!!
No matter how much time I spend, research always always, provides me with details and depth. Whether it's for a current project or something I file away for the future.
Is research a necessary evil or a sanctuary for you?