I recall that story because there are two games in which I’m very interested, and for which I just saw some pricing details. Sweet Reason!
The first is A Call to Arms: Starfleet by Mongoose Publishing. It’s a game set in the Starfleet Battles universe, and features some great looking classic Trek ship miniatures. The fleet boxes go for around $100 and sport 16 starships. That’s $6.25 per ship. The squadron boxes are even more ruinous; $40 for 5 ships, or $8 each. And if you want to purchase ships individually, they run an incredible $15 each! Just to put that into perspective, you can buy a 1:2500 model kit of the Enterprise for less than that.
The second is the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game from Fantasy Flight Games. Now, I know that FFG is usually on the expensive side, because their components are top-notch, but their $40 core set comes with a measly 3 ships (or more than $13 each), and additional ships can be had for $15 each. And a set of 6 dice will set you back another $10.
Maybe I’m just spoiled by the miniatures I do buy; only metal, and usually in smaller scales like 15mm or 1:350/microarmor. But wowzers, those ship miniatures seem awfully expensive!