People often forget that the designers, themselves, have to make something, and the person who sells it, let's say, retail, has to make something, and then there are the company costs like the manufacturing building, storage, etc., telephone, building alarm service, electricity, etc. etc. This drives the cost of a lot of audio components up, and/or profits down.
This is where 'promotion' even selling a story, much like Mark Levenson often does, helps to get the extra sales that can make a company a success.
I KNOW that just making the best product I can make and trying to sell it at a reasonable price does not 'cut it' and that is why I never returned to manufacturing products after I closed down Vendetta Research.
I KNOW that making a world class audio component can become outrageously expensive, just because we want it to be as 'perfect' as possible, both sonically and visually. We fight it every project.
Now many of you might think that all you need to do is a circuit sim to design it, and a little time to build a prototype, well that will get you a 'hoopty' but NOT a race car. '-)