>the fact that 'developer' boards are considered 'cheap' at $2K each is highway robbery by the chip manufacturers., yes they don't sell a lot of them
I know for a fact that most manufacturers barely make a profit on developer boards. Quite often the final dev. boards are different from production devices (they might have easy-to-use JTAG, GPIO lines, expansion slots, etc), so you need special manufacturing for them - and that is expensive.
Raspberry and other such projects are notable exactly because they aim to make cheap mass-produced dev. boards.