Do you pay sticker prices for a car?
I paid sticker (gladly) for my two 1ds3's. Because it was upfront and easy.
And let's be honest, in these days of Chrysler and GM, do you really want to use that business segment as an analogy for Medium Format Dealers?
Don't get me wrong, this is business, not personal. And it's constructive criticism. I just think the world is changing really, really fast, and these old business models and practices might need review. I am the biggest fan of MFDB's; I want them to continue and survive. But sometimes, you've got to stand up and say, "Isn't there any easier way to do this, that's more transparent and seemingly trustworthy?
The very last feeling I want, when I consider buying a MF back, is a similar feeling than when I'm about to buy a new car. The last thing.
If I was a MF manufacturer, (or their ad agency), I would not even call MFDBs a piece of photographic equipment. I would say it was medical equipment. I'd completely disassociate it with normal photography. I'd invent some fake scientist guy, who just happened to stick one of these "medical imagers" onto the back of a 645 camera by mistake, "and I'll be damned, it made a pretty nice picture". But if you keep it filed under Medical instead of Photographic, then your whole Smoke And Mirrors approach might continue to work. We all know that medical equipment needs training, and supervision, and multiple phone calls, and service contracts, and VA warranties; everybody expects that. No one would ever question it. But as soon as you call a p65 or whatever the hassie equivalent is, a CAMERA, then of course, you invite comparisons to the 5d2 and all the LCD controversy, and "why does it cost this much, when a 5D2 is four grand?". Then, you can say, (with your white lab coat on), "It costs that much because it's a medical device; it's not a camera, it's an Imager".
Otherwise, it's just too damn easy to go to B&H, buy a 5d2, and start making money tomorrow. No training, no service contract, no nothing. Just make money.