The hardware isn't crap. It's just purpose built. It does great for media centers, NAS controller, Firewalls, Home automation hubs, etc. An x86 processor running Windows will be more robust for heavy workloads, but is overkill as a media center.
The MSRP for Raspberry Pi has long diverged from actual retail price. That website is the manufacturers, but they don't sell them. They list retailers who will all be "sold out" or selling a "bundle" for $100 that includes a few cheap extras like wires, a case, fan and heat sink. The MSRP of $35 is now really just a marketing gimmick to make headlines. The reality is that supply/demand sets the price much higher. Amazon, Newegg, and all the places with actual inventory of raspberry pis, are all "out to lunch". But that's constrained supply. The manufactures supply chain is the real reason that nobody can sell them for MSRP without them going out of stock within hours.
itsjpb the only consistent way to get a raspi has been the resale market, where $100 is currently a steal
Yeah... it's basically a scalper's market. As soon as an authorized dealer has some in stock for MSRP, the scalpers buy them all up... knowing how popular the demand for this particular brand, they can easily resell for 300% markup.
LePotato and other SBCs are not so wildly popular, so the demand isn't far exceeding supply. Keeping them in stock at near MSRP. Luckily, most use cases for an SBC media center (like running Kodi) don't need it to be an RPi.
A smart consumer need only understand that it doesn't "have to be a raspberry pi" despite the brand name being ubiquitous with these small computers.