Bigt -- I've said it on this forum before - I too think prices are a little out of hand.
I recently bought an Athearn 60' bulkhead flatcar and compared it to the former MDC/Roundhouse version that it replaced... other than having metal wheels and cheap knuckle couplers, the Athearn car is one hundred percent IDENTICAL to the MDC car... but it is over twice the price! Yes, I know that MDC was a decade ago and costs have gone up, and yes I know the cheap-assed knuckle couplers (not Kadees) Athearn throws in cost more than the X2Fs that the MDC cars came with, and yes I know metal wheels are great and all and cost money too (but still don't roll for a darn if they're out of round or in the same chintzy sideframes), and oh, you can't buy a KIT anymore like the MDC cars were, so you pay more for "ready to run" too. But that's what we get, because apparently the survey says and the market has decided that inexpensive kits are no longer wanted, and ready to run with all manner of bling is what 'we' as the model railroad community desire. So rage against the machine.
Do not even get me started on Walthers with their asinine "Gold Line", "Platinum Line", etc. foolishness, pricing the same identical product increasingly higher. Do a historical price comparison on their Diffco side dump hopper for example.
Only other thing I can think of that more than doubled in price for basically the same product in a decade is gasoline, and we all know what profits have been made on that.