A $2100 component that performs head to head with a $10,000 one might as well be a $10,000 preamp.
By that rationale I'd be sad to see Dave raise the price of the beloved 21-a from $2,100 to $10,000. A $2,100 preamp is a $2,100 preamp, end of story, and if a $10,000 preamp to a listener fails to beat it, that listener has potentially saved $7,900.
Let's not get "consumed" in monetary value and the tricks of marketing; Hollywood is always quick to point out why a certain film failed to "click" with its audience, only after the box office numbers are in, in effect trying to make the case that named film is essentially a bad film based on mere numbers. Fundamentally the same is at play with much of the hifi-industry, in the sense that most would assume the more expensive component to sound better, thus deducing a good sounding, cheap piece of hifi-equipment should cost more, and not vice versa, that the more expensive counterpart should be cheaper.