The simple answer is, that customers are willing to pay the price!
If you want something badly enough then you will part with your cash and manufacturers know this. I paid £92/12/6 in 1961 for a 000-18. This was 3 month's salary. The only competition at that time being from Gibson. The Martin sounded much better in the treble range. Although this was a fortune to me at that time, I never regretted the purchase. Occasionally I will try some new Martins or other quality makes but I have yet to find one that would make me part with this member of my family. I can come into the room where it is lying on the bed, clap my hands and the guitar rings in response. The vibration can be felt on the soundboard.
To sum up, I was forced to part with the money because the choice was non-existant. Buying a guitar today I would look and play all the models I could see and then choose the best I could afford.