Honest question. I don't get why a well made lens with half dozen machine ground lenses of a particular shape and in one configuration can cost 10-20x what another well made lens with a half dozen machine ground lenses of a similar shape and configuration? How can the shape of a lens element or the coating cost so much more to produce? What is special about this lens that Canon, Nikon or Sigma could not reverse engineer (i.e. lens shape) and produce for $400?
You perhaps need to compare Apples with Apples, sort of.
Canon/Nikon/Sony Lenses are comparable, some within the group are slightly better than others, all made for the mass market, with a few exceptions, Large Whites (and Nikons similar range), 50f/1.2 etc.
Zeiss lenses you might need to compare with Leica, not made for the mass market more for the Pro/serious amateur that will appreciate that 10% extra all round, IQ etc etc, and the engineered for a life time Lens.
In the Otus 55f/1.4 Category you should be perhaps trying to compare it to the Leica Summilux 50f/1.4, both are manual focus, both are engineered to last 50 years, both are USD$4K Lenses.
A couple years back I tried the Leica M9 system, the Summilux 50f/1.4 Aspherical I waited a little over a year on back order to finally get a copy, Leica sell, mostly on Back Order, every Lens they make, Zeiss have a similar problem (joking), Canon/Nikon/Sony would just love top have the same issue.
I feel this is one area where you do probably get what you pay for, I hope so, I have the Otus 55f/1.4 on order.