"£279, interestingly, is exactly what I paid for a bottom-of-the-range Akai VHS recorder in 1994. A quick run through the inflation calculator tells me that is the equivalent of £450 in 2010 and probably close to £500 now."
What, so my next phone should cost me £2400 like a 1993 Motorola? Not really getting your point.
You can pick up a Freeview HD box from about £20 (crappy names like Bush, Alba etc.) or pay a bit more and get a 'better' brand.
Freeview HD+ has a similar choice, with 500GB boxes being available for about £100 and the Humax etc. coming in at over £200.
You want the same in Freesat? Well, that's gonna cost upwards of £80 for a plain box and from about £180 for a PVR.
The gubbins can't be that dissimilar, so I'm presuming lack of supply/demand is keeping prices high as only Humax and a few others seem keen to support.