You have to factor in, that prices in Germany include about 20% of VAT, which you would have to add to the US price if you import it legally.
This information is not complete for Germany/EU, see e.g. http://www.zolltarifnummern.de/zollgebuehren.php?lang=en
* up to 22€: No import tax, no vat, no nothing
* up to 150€: add vat
* above 150€: add vat *and* import tax
So basically this means with expensive items you're screwed, just as the rationale of these laws is. The good thing: cheap items are easily bought from china at a fraction of the local price...
...and for some magic reason the customs label of much more expensive items always is only 20€ :-p ... not that you'd have to ask for it, they just do it since they figure customs cannot correctly evaluate gear like flash brackets, lens hoods or caps.