I think the cost is stupidly high...annoyingly, MTBing seems to be filled with a disproportionate amount of stupid people as they 'happily' pay the price...so manufacturers are happy to keep charging it!
I had a 'chat' on Twitter with STW when they posted up something about a bike that cost stupid amounts of money...it stopped pretty quickly after I asked them when the last time they paid full price for a piece of kit was...
It is expensive, it isn't a niche any more so the high cost isn't just covering R&D...it is expensive as we, the buying MTBers seem happy to keep paying the high prices. Saying that, they are costs that need covered so I don't think they are taking the complete Michael but it isn't far off.
Price of raw materials has dropped but hasn't been reflected in cost savings to punter, but then we are now 'used' to these prices.