I don't think it is reasonable for those days to be over, simply by looking at what can be had for the $6-7 price range. Two very popular lines right now, Marvel Legends and LOTR are right in there. The figures are, for the most part, better sculpted, better articulated, better accessorized (this is open to argument). I think the paint app argument is open to debate, I've seen a number of crappy figures in all three lines though from that standpoint.
Packaging costs shouldn't be dramatically different, unless Hasbro is planning on continuing with the background idea into the Ep III cardback style. I don't think that's happening, so they really shouldn't be much different than the cards the LOTR come on. LOTR uses the large twisties, Hasbro the small elastics, so the labour component should be similar.
From a volume of plastic (and quality?) both other lines surpass Star Wars quality and size. I've no droopy accessories from Toy Biz, the same cannot be said for Hasbro.
I think it's simply a captive audience response - they know they have one more big shot, so go for it while they can. I think CorranHorn summarized that aspect quite nicely.
For me, again, control is the issue. I'll hopefully buy this crap down the line. At the same time though, since most of my stuff is purchased down in the US then shipped to me, given that the Canadian dollar is up 25% roughly over the last two years, it more than compensates for the increased price and having figures shipped up in reasonably large shipments is still cheaper than buying them at retail locally. How sad is that?