When one looks at product pricing, they should consider several facts. The cost on R&D and material have been discussed in previous posts, so I won't repeat them.
However, when you try to decide on a pricing point, you should also look at several other key factors. Once upon a time, Microtech produced relative few pieces in each production run. What does that mean? It means that in order for them to cover the cost
for their CNC and hired employees and factory and liability insurance and patent filing fees and everything else, they have to consider those costs into their knives.
Granted, the actual cost for each
knife is relatively low, but the cost of running such a business is not. And since they wanted to control the quality of the stuffs they pump out (I have heard of stories about how Tony could spend several hours just to make tiny changes for a single knife), they cannot just let the machines spew out knives after knives without caring. That would be evil.
Microtech have just recently expanded their manufacturing capacity, which means that they just bought a few more rather expensive
equipments. However, since their production volume went up, they are also reducing prices. For example, newer models such as the MUDTs are actually priced fairly.
On the other hand, the people who manufactured the "copy" of the SOCOMs are quite large already. They don't just produce a small group of knives. They are contractors who have a wide array of products to cover their overhead. Which means that they can afford to earn much
less on each knife and they can still make a pretty good profit. And when you sell them at lower prices, they literally fly off the shelves. So it is merely a different business model. Of course, Spear Point does not carry those kind of products. But for just $20, it sure sounded tempting.
In conclusion to this essay (yikes), I would just like to say that the prices for Microtech knives are quite fair in my opinion. The expensive ones such as custom pieces are meant for those who are willing to pay for those one of a kind pieces, while the regular stuffs are meant for people who like to actually use them. While the prices are a bit higher than average, they are fair considering that they are not producing a wide spectrum of items with huge numbers. Is it fair for you? You are the consumer, you decide.