EXCELLENT post Paul! I KNEW we thought alike, ha ha.
But yeah, it is very sad when an animal's intrinsic value far outweighs its monetary value (even though an animal's intrinsic value is always undervalued!!!). Corns, Beardies, Leos, Bci's, Cal Kings, etc etc etc. It sucks. I wish they weren't so easy to breed and then we'd lose a TON of the fringe breeders (the ones not willing to take the next step). Then less animals would suffer, prices would stay about a reasonable amount etc etc. I don't know man. I think about it every day. There are no simple solutions because without lower-end animals, we eliminate a plethora of new keepers. And that's not fair to them. Or is it? I mean, why should someone have the "right" to keep another thing in captivity? But that's a whole other story eh? Ha ha!
The one bright side to the mass production of cheapie animals is that we've certainly come a long way in our husbandry techniques and knowledge. A LONG way. And that's a good thing.