You can develop with the simulator for both the iphone and the iPad all day long with a free developer account. So your basic point isn't accurate.
A developer connection subscription used to be 500 oer year. So they have really dropped the price quite a bit.
All the big companies change for developer access to their stuff. Last I checked a msdn subscription was a fair chunk too.
Seriously. 99/year isn't bad at all. Just think of all the stuff they do
- Xcode on going dev and support
- online and actually up to date docs
- access to all the wwdc session videos
- developer connection website with all the various tools
- early access to ios and lots of other stuff.
So agin.. Less than 10 bucks a month is too much? Really?