It all comes down to your view on an item being too expensive or not. A $1.00 each sounds a little high, but today a $1.00 does not buy much anyways. When I look back in my 1960 Lionel catalog, you could have purchased a pack of a dozen pins for 15 cents list price! Bottom line is, if I need the item and I can get it easily I don’t get overly concerned about a little more money. I have thrown money out on other things that don’t bring me as much enjoyment as my trains running properly do.
In answering the original question, I purchased a dozen (new) tube track style pins for $5.49 with free shipping on Ebay in the beginning of this year. That will last me a long long time.