Finally, I certainly agree on the sticker shock of the new tele-extenders. I'm surprised more people haven't commented on that. From the Canon website it looks like they are dropping the old versions. I'm wondering just what will make these new ones so much better.
I think we're seeing a number of things in the new price:
1) new technology and associated R&D costs to cover
2) change in exchange rates of the Japanese Yen
3) over time, prices of goods does go up, as too do wages
I think we've all been spoilt for too long with anything related to technology always seemingly getting cheaper or at worst, staying the same price.
There are a few points to consider here:
1) The upgrades are not very popular with the participants of this site.
2) We're used to Canon raising prices by 25%-30%, not 60% or 200%. This is worsened by the above + the apparent lack of any big time improvement, such as an extra stop.
As example, when the new TS-E lenses came out, people immediately saw that it gives them another degree of freedom (= tilt and shift in two axis at the same time, rather than one), and when the new EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM, people were waiting for the 2 stop improvement in IS and improvement in optical performance.
In contrast, people here didn't vote for new & improved tele-extenders, they voted for an upgraded EF 24-70mm with IS. The expected result is people being unhappy about the perfectly good tele-extender prices taking a sharp price rise.
3) The economy is not blooming nowadays. E.g. there are plenty of people like me, who didn't get a raise for three years (prices kept going up, though), or like my cousin & his wife, who were unemployed for a while and have stuff to deal with now that they do have a job. Raise prices in a time like this, and you should expect people to sound, you know, grumpy.
4) The price rised rather steeply, e.g. the new 70-300 costs *three* times as much as the old one. I mean, God knows why, but those '1 for the price of 3' deals never sent customers on a stampade, especially when the economy is down.