Starkers i purchased DDR2 ram (4 gigs) for less than 45 bucks about 6 months ago now it is well over a hundred bucks
As you can see from the price comparison, we do pay considerably more for the same thing... which is why a rig like the one M-203 linked to would be 20 grand plus and out of the reach of most gamers/average users.
I'd like to build a machine around an Intel i7 920, but Id be looking at $2000 plus just for the mobo, CPU, RAM, PSU, and graphics card, and that'd be after I'd harvested my own case, sound card, HDD's and ROM drives, etc. To do it all from scratch, it'd be in excesss of $3000 AUD.
The Oz dollar is trading at a tad under 92c US, so somebody is profiteering/gouging when I hear folks in the States are building similarly rated machines for under a grand... and given many of the parts are made in Asia, and much closer to Australia, the shipping costs would be far less than getting those same parts to the US. Yup, somebody is ripping us off orright.