Take another example: Software. Is Office worth $300 dollars when you can get 95% of the functionality with Open Office? I could go one about software, but on Slashdot I'd be preaching to the choir.
Here's a good example. Ultra Strength Disk Washing Soap. My mom used to buy it all the time. It claims it's twice as strong as regular, and comes in at 75% of the price. The catch? It's twice as small by volumn. One day I asked her: "Do you actually use less with the ultra stuff? Was normal soap not powerful enough?" Answer: Nope. I pointed out that then she was getting less and spending more. She'd never though of the objective worth.
And on the topic of misappropriation. At my previous employer, the standard chairs where absolutely sub-standard. Yet many used them for years, even management. Those guys that drove in with the BMWs and Audis. I said, you guys spend 8 hours a day in that chair, you can't afford to spend $200 on a really nice chair when you can drop $50K on a car? Come on now.
I support things now when I notice their quality to me. I buy SuSE Linux when I run Fedora as my primary distro. Why? Linux is a quality product and I would like to support it's growth.
I bought UT2k4 when I really don't care for that kind of FPS. Why did I buy it? Out of the box Linux support and great mod community (Ok, so I bought it for Red Orchestra too.
The point is I'll pay for something that I consider worthwhile, even if it's more than they ask. Another example. I like music. Yet, I don't download for free anymore. Why? I like to support that which I get value from. Also iTunes makes investing in music much more cost-effective. I can listen to a sample of every song before I download, and I can buy just a track at a time if I so wish (and if the artist will let me).
Ok rant mode off.