Very much enjoyed the review (thanks, MF). While I was reading the Artemis Lab TT review, I couldn't help but think how much of a bargain the TT is, then I totally hit myself on the head: it is still $7K+! One thing that took my breath away was how MF put the price of Artemis Lab TT in perspective: it costs 5% of his Continuum Caliburn. Wow.
I think I myself have gotten very desensitized to the spike of hi-fi prices. It was only last year when the state of the art phono stages seemed like $5-6K, and now, they're regularly $10K+, and how much was that Ypsilon LCR phono stage again?
The other day, I looked at MF's 1st review of Manley Steelhead to read about the Steelhead's EQ functions, and it seemed almost quaint and touching how MF went out of his way to qualify the astronomical price of the Steelhead, at $7300, which doesn't seem so outrageous now compared to other phono stages.
Unfortunately, the Steelhead was designed as a price-no-object component. When the financial dust had settled, Eveanna Manley found that admission was a steep $7300. But remember: If you're a turntable-only audiophile, you don't need another preamplifier, and you can use the fixed outputs as a "Record Out."
I've no doubt that a lot of the components that are so high-priced are priced according to performance; although I've heard a lot of high-priced components that sound horrible (most frequently loudspeakers), many of the high-priced gear that I've heard simply sounded fantastic.
But in general, I wonder if the hi-fi consumers are too docile in accepting the rise-and-rise of the hi-fi gear prices. As I said, I caught myself off-guard by how desensitized I've become by the prices which seemed so ludicrous to me a year ago.