Well, it all depends of your priorities isn't it? If money is the only reason that drives your decision, than hell yes get that info first place.
Personally, I prioritize my decision on human factors first based on a direct bilateral discussion(s). Are they reactive, passive, engaged or not? Passion is everything that makes me happy everyday. Money does not.
If i am happy at the end of the interview, I generally introduce the money question myself if not done already. I don't mentioned a figure since it all depends of the overall package, but I ask them to give me an indicator before meeting again.
As Jeff said, no one wants to loose his/her time just because of a stupid 'tabou' question that is 'How much'.