@Canon_F1: The prices also strike me as high but they are a precision lens with the latest technology, glass, coatings, precision manufacturing, yada, yada, yada. I bought the 1.4X III for Canadian $550. I think it was a worthwhile purchase.
@Flake: Product prices go up over time unless there is a change in technology, design, materials, manufacturing process that significantly lowers manufacturing costs. In the absence of such reductions, costs of materials and labor only go up. But sure, Canon might also just increase the price to see if it sticks... they can always lower the price if it doesn't.