$100K has always been "cheap" for a "business computer" and today you can get more computer for that money than ever.
$100K of hardware (per year or so) is small-fry compared to almost every other R&D industry out there. Just compare with the cost of debuggers, oscilloscopes and EMC labs for electronic engineers.
Buy them a machine each at a cost of $40-60 billion ?
Or would it make more sense to buy one Spark cluster and then share the resources at a fraction of the cost.
Still expensive, but much less than 40 billion.
We have a Spark cluster which supports all of those users for $10-$20k a month.