All of this assumes that people buy really high end gear because of the quality.
These are, like Uncle Erik pointed out, status symbols. Just like really fancy cars and giant mansions, you don't buy them because you're getting bang for your buck, you get them because you want to feel like you are part of a special club when you put them on.
Which is why I don't own anything worth over $300. I've chosen to join the DIY ortho club for my feeling of belonging and status--it's much cheaper.