Why are record cleaners so expensive?

Full disclosure: I have only the Spin-Clean record cleaner and a Hunt EDA brush to clean my vinyl, but as someone who's been in the digital side of audiophilia for decades, and as someone who knows how much gear can get in any dedicated hobby, I'm still curious as to why a high end vinyl cleaner can cost more than three grand.

I'm not disputing the price; after all, Smith said that something's worth whatever someone pays for it. Moreover, a high end record cleaner might be able to do things to vinyl that nothing else can. Still, paying three grand for an Audio Desk cleaner seems a bit out of reason. $3K can buy a good set of speakers; a hand-made fly-fishing rod based on your height and weight and arm length; two weeks at a Fijian resort for two; a custom-made suit from an Italian mill. So why is a glorified vacuum cleaner $3K?

Again, not flaming, just curious. Enlighten me?

Unfortunately mark up levels in audio are often beyond reasonable. Best examples are audio cables and cartridges. You can buy an air tight PC-1 supreme or top of the line Kimber cables 45 % below list price - and everyone still makes enough money - including the dealer. Nordost Odin 2 interconnect 0.75 meter for $20,000 - are you kidding me? Even rich folks have to be on strong medication in order to pay these prices!
I bought my Audiodesk Vinyl Cleaner from a source in Germany (where it's made) for EUR1,380 plus tax ($1,575 in todays Dollars) which included mark-up from the dealer I bought it. The overpriced high mark up system in our hobby only works because enough audiophiles with deep enough pockets keep it going. Luckily there are excellent products out there for reasonable to fair money - you'll find them if you look for them ...
I've built and used ultrasonic record cleaners intensively during the past two years.  I began by using 60 kHz transducers and, later moved to 80 kHz transducers.  The highly finished models made in Korea and in Germany are more expensive and less adaptable than I needed.  A knowledgeable person can build an ultrasonic record cleaning system (including variable timer and cleaning accessories) for about $800 in materials plus labor.  

Although the initial cost is not prohibitive, cleaning a record to the point of playing dead quiet does require more time, care and effort.  You have to enjoy the process, both preparation and listening, for it to be worthwhile.  

The benefit of ultrasonic record cleaning to my enjoyment of my 2000+ record collection has been as great or greater than other upgrades to my sound system.

Cedar- good post- sometimes i view record cleaning as a task to be dreaded, and other times, I look forward to it and can actually enjoy the process. I've had both commercial ultrasonics- the Audio Desk and KL and have used them in combination with vacuum machines, like the Monks. The best results I have obtained have come from washing a pre-cleaned record in the ultrasonic, and vac drying it on a point nozzle, like the Monks (or Loricraft). The vacuum seems to be more effective than forced air drying  in removing the last iota of crap from the grooves.
So, the notion of a DIY ultrasonic makes huge sense to me, not only as a cost savings, but because it enables you to remove the record before the forced air drying cycle (something that isn't really possible on the Audio Desk and, while possible on the KL, isn't recommended by the manufacturer). 

One can remove an lp before the drying cycle starts on an Audio Desk. But, Why?

Vacuuming dry is effective but has the deleterious affect of infusing static electricity back into the clean vinyl record.

Cedar: I wholeheartedly agree that one has to (enjoy) the process. Otherwise, it is failed effort over the long haul and if you dread cleaning, the lps will suffer, so will your listening pleasure.