there's always a fine balance between what the consumer is willing to spend based on what kind of benefits (or the perception thereof) that the supplier is providing. it really all boils down to basic economics of supply and demand. there is a point in which every consumer wants something but is only willing to spend so much for that something, and at the same time, suppliers are only willing to sell for so little depending on how much profit they want to make on the product.
obviously, they want big profits from their products, and that's where marketing (aka hyping) comes in. by hyping a product, they can increase how much the consumer is willing to spend.
that can be applied to any consumer/supplier scenario, and the computer hardware industry is no different. pricing is always based on how much consumers are willing to spend for something that really doesn't cost that much to produce.
a prime example of this is Nvidia's GeForce 8800 series of cards. despite being on the market for well over a full year now, the GTS, GTX, and Ultra 8800's really haven't changed much in price outside of the initial markups. the main reason is that most gamers i've seen have been more than willing to put the money down for those cards even though price hasn't changed. given how long the cards have been in production, you would expect lower prices, but as long as people are willing to spend the money, prices will stay where they are.
obviously, prices are going to come down (finally) due to the 8800 GT and the new Radeon 3800's, but i find it rather amusing that people have been willing to spend upwards of $500 for a video card that's been on the market for well over a full year.
anyways, i think that's enough rambling on my part for today.