Excellent article by JA-- I can confirm that everything he says about DVD tech licensing is true and then some. (I did my master's thesis on whether region-encoding violated international trade law-- somewhere or another, I have copies of the relevant agreements, or at least versions of them dating to the early part of the century. You can't get licensed to do your own DVD player manufacturing without paying the Consortium a huge sum of money which, at the time I did my thesis in 2002, was in the high 5 or low 6 digits-- in dollars-- for initiation and then a substantial payment to the Consortium every year. Maybe Meridian or Arcam can afford those licenses, but not many others. The licenses add a hell of a lot of cost to a player if you're not selling in bulk. There's a reason why universal player prices haven't come down much.)
As ugly as the Lexicon things seems on the surface, I haven't seen anyone talk up the bright side-- Oppo. The fact that their $500 player could be put in a fancy chassis and sold for $3500 is a sign that they've done some very, very good engineering.