I'm gonna preface this response with a few assumptions:
1. We're all adults
2. As consumers, we don't always know or have access to actual cost data.
Cameras, automobiles, computers, software, roses, audio equipment, clothing, etc. They all have a markup by which a retailer can recover costs and hopefully make a profit. The markup depends on many variables, including any pricing restrictions levied by the OEM.
Many years ago, I took a business math class at a local community college. The first lecture asked the question: "How do you know if the sales price reflects a good deal?"
The answer: It depends.
If a retailer advertises an item as 20%, 30% or 50% off. The first thing you need to determine is: 20%, 30% or 50% off of what?
If you don't know what the retailer or dealer paid for the item, etc. then you don't know. Only when you know what the retailer or dealer "actually paid" for an item can you know whether you're getting a good deal or really saving any money. A fair price is in the eyes of the consumer.
On a different note, there are products and services available in the marketplace that never go on sale.
You ever see Harvard, Stanford or any college for that matter advertising: "This month only 25% off Tuition!" How often do you see Apple offering a sale? Ever tried getting a reduced sales price from your doctor, dentist, attorney? How about gas prices? Ever see a gas station advertise a sale?
There's a reason we have marketplace principles such as "Caveat Emptor," and "Whatever the market will bear." Supply and Demand drive prices in the marketplace. We know these factors are at play but somehow there is a disconnect. It never fails to amaze me how many people will camp out 2-3 or more days in front of a Walmart, Bestbuy or other retailer waiting to buy that BIG SALE item !!!!
As far as Canon's MAP is concerned, they are not the only manufacturer that imposes this type of requirement on its "authorized dealers." Most auto manufactures do the same thing with their dealer networks.
I have a friend that sells high-end audio equipment. One of the lines he sells is Audio Note.
Audio Note has a price floor that ALL its authorized dealers cannot go below; otherwise, they won't receive any more product from Audio Note.
I may be wrong but do we really know what B&H, Adorama, Calumet, or any other retailer selling cameras and other photographic gear are paying for these products wholesale? I'm not so sure. We always see MSRP prices advertised for cameras but I for one have never seen data on what the retailer is actually paying for these items.
I don't see CR or B&H Photo being necessarily deceptive. It's up to us as consumers to educate ourselves and do as much research is possible before making a purchase. Sometimes it just comes down to asking ourselves: "Does this purchase represent a good value for me at this time?" The rule "Caveat Emptor - Let the buyer beware" is just as true today as it was when the Supreme Court first applied the rule in 1817.
Be willing to live with the purchase whatever it may be. If you're satisfied with a purchase and you know you weren't jilted or taken advantage of, then be happy. That's the important thing.