Yes this has been the truth all along from day one. Sure an LE would run you about $8K, but with the add-on 27" LCD, invisiglass & air shipping, you were looking to pay about another $1K on top of that. Absurd if you ask me.
Now with an upcoming price hike, I really wonder what they would charge & what changes will be made. Part of the problem was that there was just too many options over the course of the entire project (big backbox LCD, small backbox LCD, lighted pinblades, beacons, trim upgrades, invisiglass, shakers, El-wire, etc etc). That's a lot of extra parts to buy. And since this project dragged out over so many years, I'm sure costs had to go up due to so many variables & problems during production (including factors outside their control, like Brexit & the value of the Euro).
I don't see how they can come up with a plan to move forward until all customer refunds are processed first. With each passing day, refund requests have to be an increasing sum of money. They have to take care of this ASAP. They can't move forward without dealing with it. It has to be a big part of finalizing the deal.
After that, they should reassess everything. Come up with different cost effective configurations for the relaunch. Dump the ramp El-wire lighting as it is expensive (and does not fit the theme). Offer one LE trim color, not three. One cabinet color on all models. Standardize the 27" screen, so you only need one art package, or just make it an LE option & include it in the price. Etc etc. It's clear there never was a clear plan of what this final game would include or even look like. Those that are staying in may have to adjust their expectations, as the final package might not be exactly what Andrew promised.
Who am I kidding? Who knows if any of that will even happen. The whole thing is just frustrating as hell. Just send me my damn refund.