Unfortunately, the MSRP on a Lionel 4-car set would probably be $800
I agree with you Mike, but just for perspective, $200 a car is still the entry level price point for RTR scale passenger cars today. The next level up would be the Golden Gate Depot offerings at $300.00 per car. Are the GGD cars $100.00 better? that is up to the buyer. Some will say yes and some will say no, but you can bet that what ever the price is now/today, will be more the next time anything is announced due to the rising cost of production.
Obviously E-*** pricing and history is a pretty good indicator of secondary market value and it is pretty clear that engines/rolling stock that were "over priced" only a few years ago are now reselling for full list and more?
Seems kind of funny, what was "too much" a few years ago is now Ok... go figure.
So yes, $200 is a lot of money now for some folks, but I predict in a few years, $200 cars will be cheap.
It's all perspective.