The argument is around price. What if Beats are sold for $20? Would it now achieve the same status of the Monoprice phones, best bang for the buck. Or nobody will care because they're too cheap for discussion and too cheap to buy for the "cool" status?
IMO, people perceive quality differently. Beats has reasonable quality but not at the price. But there is also an intangible, Beats are designed for looks, it is an accessory. There are Polo shirts that's $10 and Polo shirts that are $200. What is the price/performance ratio here? What I am saying is there are two view points and value systems here. And they are not compatible. This almost reminds me of the cable debate.