"It's as if millions of people cried out, and were suddenly silenced."
That was sound that occurred in the seconds between Oculus opening up pre-orders on the consumer version of the Rift, and people seeing the $600 price tag. The VR hype train derailed just as it hit maximum speed, and the number of butts that got hurt was too great to count (my own included).
Through the course of the past week, I, and presumably many of my fellow passengers, have been making our way through the five stages of VR grief:
First, I apologize for using prequel gifs. But at least I used the original version of Anakin's spirit form. I do have some dignity.
So here's where I'm at: As disappointed as I initially was, $600 really isn't that much to ask for what you're getting. Palmer Luckey and Oculus just did a really bad job of managing expectations. Buying an iPhone 6 without it being subsidized by signing a contract will run you about the same. And while you might say "but it's just a display", a 4k monitor will run you about $500 as well. Also, the two screens in the Oculus have to handle demands that no other display has to, and a lot of research and development (and money) went into making them as good as they could be. And that's not even taking into account the headset, the optics, the tracking system, the camera, and all the other little details that make it work as well as it does.
Do I wish I could buy an Oculus for ~$350 or $400? Hell yes, but I understand why it can't realistically be that cheap. What I'm really kicking myself over is not throwing $100 at the kickstarter so I could be getting one for free!