Why Not Semi-Automatic Style Turntables?

It strikes me as odd that there are few (if any) high-end turntables that lift the stylus (tonearm) off the record at the end of play. Is this really that hard to do without compromising performance? It seems to me that some sort of infered sensor could determine when the tone arm has wandered far towards center, and a mechanically decoupled bar lift the tonearm off the record. Is something like this out there, and if not why? Is it really impossible to do this without compromising performance, or are turntable designers stuck with their own blinders?
I think it is probably because that most people think that if the record is over, you have to get up and change the record, or turn the system off, anyway. This thinking is okay, as long as you don't fall asleep during listening. if you tend to fall asleep, then there are at least 2 models that I know of called "The Lift" that can be put on just about any manual turntable. They have a high, and low price model, both under $100. Simple, stick-on installation. It seems to be a copy of the old Monitor Audio arm lifter from the 1970s. I believe it is available through Expressimo Audio website.
Probably for a similar reason that high-end cd changers are rare and many preamps are made w/out remotes. I wouldn't pay extra for a lift. I don't have a remote.
I think it's unreasonable not to expect that many users would want the convenience of a lift or remote if it doesn't harm the sound quality. Does the cost of such an ammendment increase proportionally to the list cost of the unit???
I'm with you 100% on this one Peter. Both lifts and remotes are absolute necessities for me, and I can't understand how a simple lifting mechanism can increase the cost of a multi-thousand dollar turntable in any noticeable way. The same goes for remote controls and multiple disk transports, although with these I can see where the additional complexity of the mechanisms might require a bit of care to add properly. Still, to not even have the option to pay a little extra for these amenities seems like a quick way to pare down the potential market for any product. I can't tell you how frustrating it is for me (and I'm sure many others) to have to trade off great sound against a few simple, inexpensive features.

For as long as I've been around audio, there has always been a certain appeal to the "minimalist" approach in high end gear. For a lot of folks, the lack of features seems to be one of the definitions of truly great audio equipment, and the addition of 'convenience' functions only serves to reduce the appeal. I’m guessing that this attitude is strong enough in the marketplace to continue to provide incentive for manufacturers to produce products along these lines. For me though, the ability to have wonderful music to listen to and not have to work for it is one of my great joys :-).

-- Ken
One impediment to lifts is arm vs table geometry. Lifting the arm at the runout grooves of a record is basically an arm function, but it is commonly mounted on the table. If you buy separates, the table manufacturer doesn't know what arm you're going to install, and that inhibits his ability to locate a place to mount the lift. Vice versa, the arm manufacturer could go to considerable expense designing an arm-mounted lift device that would be user adjustable to engage when the arm reaches the runout grooves. This could be unwieldy and have an adverse effect on the sound, as well as cost a fair amount of money. Also, some tables might not offer sufficient clearance for proper location of the lift device.