Its very natural that DL media costs so high, the manufacturing process is very slow, i was told that all discs were made by hands, meaning there isn't a machine that can build the discs automatically like normal DVD +/-R media...Higher manufacturing costs -> higher end price cost...hopefully the media prices will continue to drop down to acceptable levels, but i wouldn't count to see 1~2 Euro prices very soon
They surely will come down eventually, to a level where they can still make a profit. My problem is, we all know that they WILL come down, but in the absense of competition they are gouging. The profit level has to be at least 600% at this stage, which to me, is obscene. I can buy 200gb of HD space on a good drive, and the same space on DL media would cost me up to $350. The WORST one of all to me is Verbatim(Mitsubishi) with their "Solution Kit". I wonder how many people bought the pack without reading and thought they were getting 10 pieces of DL media at $3 each. Ritek is not so bad, they are only playing the market as it was set. Which from a business perspective is the only responsible thing to do for stockholders.
I never spent $15 for any blank, the most I have ever spent is $5 for blank 1x CD-R's back in 1997. Actually $100 for a 10-pack with a $50 rebate, TDK.
As far as discs being made by hand, I doubt that to be true at this point. The only thing they could possibly do by hand that would produce usable media would be pulling a lever on a stamping machine. Sure, the prototypes were made by "hand", but there is no way Ritek has hundreds of people making discs by hand for them at this stage of the product lifecycle. The media is new, but still old enough to be mass produced.
So who is suffering here? The drive manufacturers. I'm sorry, but $90 for NEC's new 3500a is almost TOO cheap. If the media were priced better, I believe they would be getting at least $150 for that drive. In fact, ALL of the DL drives came out for peanuts compared to the first DVDR drives, and CDR drives. The feature is only as good as the ability to use it.
Oh well, I hope they come down soon. I would really like to get a new drive or two. I am willing to pay up to $5 for a blank, but not a cent more. I guess it has to do with my purchase history. It's the most I have ever spent for a blank disc of any kind, and I am not going to exceed it.