My problem with all this is that we are comparing normals (pet quality) and Morphs (Investment quality) animals when they are completely two different things.
Unless your bill gates or have Obsessive-compulsive disorder your not going to buy a $10,000 snake, so that your 8 year old has something for Show-n-tell.
The high priced snakes are primarily for the people that intend to breed. This is the main market for these animals.
If junior tells Dad that he wants a snake for christmas, or a person decides that now they can finally get the snake they always wanted, well this is were the market is for Normals or low cost morphs.
Both Normals and Morphs have their markets. If someone can afford and wants a 5000 dollar albino then heck go for it. However, the big thing that Morphs do is produce Hets and Possible Hets.
If someone loves snakes and really, really wants that albino but does not have the money, then they buy a het and some poss. hets and wow they can produce a high end animal.
Bottom line here is that the high end morphs and normals each have a market and serve a purpose.
Normals are afordable to the average herper, who may not wish to breed them.
Morphs attract the commerical/hobby breeders who refine and develop better husbandry techniques which adds to body of knowledge in Herperculture.
IMHO its a win-win situation.
As for the people that buy the low cost herps and abuse or neglect them, unfortunately this is almost a stupid thing to debate. You will find idoits and unprepared buyers everywhere. Cats, dogs, birds, snakes, kids,everything that exisits that depends (volintarily or involintarily) on humans is in a situation to be abused.
Society has tried to find a "Magic" cure for child abuse, basic human stupidity, ignorance, animal crulety and more and...you know what? THERE IS NO "MAGIC" cure.
So saying that by making all herps a thousand dollars will prevent abusive people from buying them...it wont. As long as human live on this planet, there will be creatures who are made to suffer, due to cruelity or ignorance, this is the unfortunate reality of life.
All we can do is educate people, maintain our collections properly and thank GOD for every RESCUE organization out there.
Anyway, I just hit a couple issues previously stated.
My 2 Cents.