Audio Research discontinuing lower lines components?

I have looked at several components in Audio Research's line and they are discontinuing the LS17-se, PH8, and PH6.  They discontinued the DAC 8.  I know there is a new Ref 6 to replace the Ref 5se and their is a new Ref Phono 3 to replace the Ref Phone 2se coming out.  I talked to my dealer and he stated that Audio Research seems to be making their components look more McIntosh like in the Galeo series. 

The dealer stated their isn't going to be anything that he has heard that will replace the other lines at this point and that AR will be starting at the LS-27, which is $7500 for preamps.  The Ref 75se is the beginning of the line for Amps, which I know, but man are they going the Mac route with prices, nothing to replace the DAC 8 and the other DAC in the line is $11,000, what's up with this, have you guys heard anything more. 

The starting point for AR equipment is getting pretty high and the only way a newer person without means will be able to afford it will be to buy use, which could send the used prices up if there isn't anything else in the line.  What do you guys think and what have you heard?
They are obviously looking to cater to the people with deep pockets. They don't care about the hobbyist starting out. I guess they figure there are enough Chinese Imports available in the lower price ranges. In the 80's and 90's Audio Research made products that a guy with a decent Job could afford. Nowadays in order to buy new ARC gear you have to have a lot of discretionary Income.
They also have a huge innovation appetite.  That fuels growth for a while but eventually begins to back up - unless enough people will upgrade until the cows come home.

At some point they will have to maintain a "Classic" line of products - IMO.  Some of them are great - like the PH5 for example.  The only ARC product I have owned.  Just a guess, I could be wrong, they obviously have an intense game plan that appears to be working.
Both ARC and McIntosh are now owned by an Italian holding company called Fine Sounds Group, along with Sumiko, Sonus faber, et al.    Looks like their business model includes narrowing your range of choices.