It's funny to me that people will happily spend $40 for a t-shirt, $100+ for a pair of shoes, $300 for an ounce of weed -- but ask them for $200 for a professional development tool and they won't budge.
The thing is that it’s easier to predict the personal value of a real-world item. You don’t know in advance whether you’re going to get $200 of value out of a particular development product, because there’s no reasonable standard of comparison.
You would pay $40 for a T-shirt if it were some sort of collector’s item you could resell. You would pay $100 for running shoes because that’s less than $15000 for knee surgery, and you like having comfy feet. You would pay $150–300 for an ounce of weed because you know what weed is like, and you like it, and the price is driven up by legal issues. But what justification can you come up with for spending $200 on what is essentially a productivity tool, if it won’t necessarily make you more productive?
Well it depends on the book store really. For example Barnes and Noble lets you return books up to 2 weeks after purchase. Amazon allows you to return kindle ebooks, but I'm not sure of their policy on physical books. And of course you could always go to your local library and see if the book is available there.
I'm totally willing to pay for a great professional development tool. However, I think it's way too risky to use a closed source niche product in this day and age. I would have preferred something like the Ravenbrook licensing model: a viral open source license that would necessitate a commercial license to create derivative products or develop commercial applications.
For me, it isn't the price tag that is a problem. It is the lack of information about something that has a price tag. I would personally be interested in a product like this, and I have paid $200+ for development software before, but there isn't enough info here to let me know if it is worth it.