How often will you be displaying item info? If it's reasonably often, if there is almost always some item info on-screen, and if the item for which info is being displayed changes frequently enough, then you should probably accept the extra memory overhead, otherwise you're looking at a potentially bad run-time bottleneck.
Even if not, you should definitely be profiling memory usage to determine if you are or are not worrying overmuch about something that may not even be a problem. Even if you've got a coupla extra MB usage, this is almost totally insignificant by todays standards - the days of having to be ultra-frugal about memory usage, and when memory usage was highly likely to be a major program bottleneck, are over.
That's not an excuse for going nuts or doing stupid things; it just means that focussing solely or even primarily on memory usage is not as important as it used to be.
Well that depends on the player. But imagine Diablo, there you look at the stats a whole lot. Or WOW, where you check your stats on items a lot as well.
Take the first approach. Instanciate all the widgets you need and display them ,when needed. There's no reason to create/delete them all the time.
Guess i'm going with the first option. I were aware that it might no make any difference since like you said there is a lot more memory to work with today, but i always feel that i want to do it "the right way" with as little sloppiness as possible
Thanks for a quick reply you both!