Well, you can cook a 3 michelin starred meal using ikea pots and ikea knives (the non serrated ones of course.) and an ikea chopping board. But you can also do it with a Bob Kramer knife, on David's board, using pure copper pans... The marginal utility is decided by the user/purchaser. But it isn't terrible because we only aspire to/lust after quality things, but we can make do.
Sometimes you can't make do, because you just can't get a good espresso out of a cheap supermarket superautomatic, but of course you can using some skill with a entry level boiler machine. Do you need the absolute best commercial machine? No... you just need something that can do the job.
We're lucky because in the knife world, almost all knives can do the job. Some just better or worse, but at a very low leve, a cheapish knife can already be made to do practically anything we need of it. In other hobbies, it really is a constant upgrade cycle to catch up to tech. That costs a lot more.
I could afford a Kramer if I really wanted to - but there is a big mental barrier that prevents me from wasting a big chunk of savings on another knife.
On a separate note, since Kramer switched auctions to his own proprietary site, it seems 5 of his knives on Ebay went at stratospheric prices to 2 different buyers. These two chaps are setting the price for the rest of the world. Fair? Well, depends on whether you're Bob, them, or us.