The point in question is whether the consumer aspires for something to fulfil his want or whether he 'feels' that his want would be fulfilled based on his perception about how people think!
For example, he may want a car not because he has an aspiration for it but because 'he feels' that people would relate to him as successful. Or he may not buy a particular brand of laptop because 'he feels' others may think about him being outdated. This also raises whether you and me buy because ' I want to' or whether ' I don't want to' ( being thought of as uncool, out-of-sync etc.) The driving emotions in both cases also differ. The case for aspiration is driven by a positive one and the latter is a negative emotion in this case. Needless, to mention, which emotion dominates our life more is everyone's guess.
However, all this is built on our own perceptions about how we feel people will react, think and judge. We are concerned with trying to shield ourselves from all this and well, thats where we find brands as the best protectors. And this is an ongoing process. As I feel, we are humans and being aspirational is no crime. For me travelling, seeing new places gives me a high!
I think if we are aspirational in the true sense, we would choose brands that make good sense- emotionally as well as rationally. Also, while aspiration is more absolute and is not necessarily based on other people's reactions, perception is all about 'others'.