I don't know about you (assuming an audience of hiring authorities), but when I initially pitch a job opportunity to a potential candidate and the first thing they respond with is, "How much does it pay?", that kind of rubs me the wrong way. The odds of me seriously considering this person for my client basically fall off the edge of a cliff. Sure, $$$ is an important aspect to an employee/employer relationship, but in my experience when it is the predominant motivator for a person, then they'll not only join my client because of the $$$, but they'll also leave my client for more $$$.
I've responded to that question at times with, "Well, it doesn't pay anything until you get the job." In reality, most jobs pay based on what someone brings to the table. I have no idea what my client would be willing to pay you. I haven't discussed your background with them yet, nor have they even interviewed you yet. Sure, they might have a budgeted range (with perhaps some wiggle room) for the position, but I'm not going to share that with any candidates. If I say they'll pay between $70-$90k, then 9 times out of 10 the person on the other end of the phone only hears the $90k figure. And that puts both parties in a bad situation when it really does come time for offer negotiations.
It's typically a better approach for me to find out where the candidate has been from a compensation standpoint, and where he or she needs to be for opportunities to make sense. Tell me more about your compensation history (salary, bonus, car, etc..). Then I can see if we're in the same ballpark of where my client wants to pay without getting into the situation I described a moment ago.