I have to say that I don't get the high-price "none-apologists" that have emerged lately on pinside and podcasts, etc.
Suddenly no pinball machine could possibly be made for less than $6K USD, and Stern's gutted System 11-like features on a Pro model is a "steal" at $5400.
What the h*ll people? You are all complicit in the insanely rising prices of new (and subsequently used) pinball machines. If you plot the prices of NiB machines vs the likely BoM for each over the last 10 years, even 5, you'll see the prices have risen many many times inflation. The only reason for this is that people seem thrilled to pay more for each new release, and usually to get less in terms of playfield features, coils, etc. It's making this hobby unaffordable to a large segment of the population, and I find it annoying as hell.
If Stern could sell their home version pinball ("The Pin") at a profit for $2500, there is no way a SW Pro needs to be >$5k. This is simply the manufacturers milking the current pinball bubble for all that it is worth IMHO.
Anyway, by all means, argue with each over how much higher the price of TnA should be and watch its sales potential collapse. I guess the way the math works it's better for the manufacturers to milk the high end and produce far fewer units, that way profits are high and they don't need to produce as many games. Less games = less games out there, so more future sales potential. Basically every game is a limited run now.
I love what this game is about, but I'd fight all day for the lower price point. Lose the vaporous LCD if you have to, the game is under the glass and through the speakers on this one anyway.