I always find this sort of thing ridiculous. Are you somehow arguing that bike companies are making a ridiculous amount of profit? The way you are talking, you make it sound like Pinarello's margin on a Prince is 99.9%. I assure you, it is not.
Most Car Manufacturers are actually about to go bust, heh. But in normal times - there are hundreds of millions of car users worldwide. Their market is vast and diverse. There is the same amount of material in a Mclaren f1 than a ford Focus. Why does it cost more???
Its pretty obvious and I'm not going to explain it to you.
Why does a Pinarello Prince cost more? Have any of you tried to design and make a frame which you expect only to sell 5000 units max worldwide? Race Proven, top technology, top design, exceptional graphic design etcetcetc. The total cost of each Bike is massive, their Margin is reasonable and Pinarello make a reasonable and fair amount of profit for a small bike manufacturer.
It has Zipp Wheels? How many Zipp wheels are sold each year? But what about the design costs, wind tunnel costs, safety tests, manufacturing costs, material costs, marketing costs, mold costs... etcetc. Is Zipp the most profitable company in the Cycle industry... No. They make a reasonable amount of profit from a low volume, high quality, race proven, scientifically tested product. You don't get that from a Aksium.
The Bicycle world is innovative and technology moves fast. I think you would be hard pressed to find any other industry or sport for which technology has improved so substantially over the past 10 years. This innovation costs money and requires people to buy things at a premium. If it wasn't for people like me buying Carbon bikes in the past, would Dedeccia frames be available now??
Oh, and for all those people lost in the past. I do like my Steel MTB's. But no Steel Road bike compares to my 6kg Madone 6.9 pro in a 58cm. You cannot ultimately achieve the same ratio of stiffness to weight in any other material, whilst maintaining strenght and compliance where required. Anyone who things otherwise is really lost to nostalgia or misses the point because they cannot afford a $10k Road bike.