Yeah, "outrageous gouge" is prob. too strong a phrase, and I didn't consider that more tents sold equals more tents available to be sold as used--that's a good point. I'm certainly not down on MSR in particular (I especially like that Cascade Designs continues to make a lot of products in the US), or major manufacturers in general, I'm just annoyed with some aspects of their pricing systems (which are hardly unique).
I still say if a new, current model tent can be sold by a retailer for $150 off MSRP, and both retailer and manufacturer can make money at the lower price, that represents a system built more on marketing hype than setting a fair price based on cost of materials, manufacturing and decent profit margin and sticking to it (which is what cottage makers seem to be doing). In that sense, comparing the pricing of the two products is apples and oranges--TT pricing *is* the price, whereas a major manufacturer's MSRP isn't something they really expect too many people to pay, thus must be inflated in some way.
Moreover, comparing the performance of products from cottage makers and majors doesn't seem to indicate that similar performance can usually be had for less money (in terms of actual prices paid) when buying new gear made by a major manufacturer. For example, from my limited research it looks like I could get a cottage gear tent (TT or other) that is functionally equivalent to my BA Seedhouse SL2 (but lighter, and better in other ways) for the same price or even a bit less. I was given the Seedhouse, so this isn't buyer's remorse talking, but that a highly specialized, made in the US product sells for the same price as a mass market, made in China item indicates two different approaches to pricing, at the very least.