I'll admit I've skimmed rather than reading every single word, but I think a lot goes into price other than just what's in the box.
* Customer support. If I'm going to be buying a piece of equipment that my life will depend on, I would prefer to buy it from an established, reputable company. One that has a quality control department, and/or one that will help me out if their defect/negligence causes me to get hurt would be best. Certainly not a company that I think might be out of business in 6 months because their 15 minutes are up. I think a lot of people will pay extra for that confidence.
* Kind of the opposite of that, but some people will pay more for something that's unique, or at least not hum-drum. If a mom and pop sandwich shop opens next door to Subway, I'll go to mom and pop even if they charge $1 more. Partly to support the little guy, and partly to have a new experience rather than a repeat experience. I think this applies mostly to consumable goods, though.
* Price is not just a function of what people are willing to pay, but also of what a company has to charge to stay in business. Part of the reason a sports car (for instance) is so expensive is because fewer are made. Therefore the cost of building the factory, paying the engineers who designed it, etc. may be the same as for a family sedan, but that cost is spread out over fewer units sold. So a new Porsche probably *can't* be profitably sold at $20,000. Like the thread starter, I'm just using sports cars as an example. Of course, if the cheapest a new Porsche can be sold for with the company still breaking even is more than the price that people will pay for one, Porsches will go the way of the dinosaur.
* Lemons. This is probably not that big of a factor, but if I test drive a Ford and a Chevy and the particular Ford I test drove drives like crap, I'm probably not going to ask to drive a different Ford, I'll probably just buy the Chevy.