Your price was set some 5 years ago for that hardware. What I see people do is compare today's prices for a part that was made years ago and stored for later use.
Does that help you understand this?
Since I am on a mission to repair my iMac, I called both my local Apple Store and a local authorized tech to get quotes for an optical drive repair and a possible logic board repair. The reason why the logic board may need to be replaced is because the iMac is yet again giving me FireWire trouble. I think the problem is with the controller somewhere because there does not seem to be another cause except for the recent 10.5.x updates. Like I have said in previous posts, the external drive I am using is working completely fine with my MacBook Pro no matter what connection I use, and it works over USB with the iMac.
So I called the local tech first and he said that if I got an inexpensive, new drive online, he would install it for me for a somewhat high price of $180-200 or so. But he said that he doesn't do logic board repairs. He advised getting a quote from Apple as well should they decide to charge me a flat out fee for the two possible repairs. I call the store and asked for a quote. Now I simply asked for a quote for both an optical drive repair and a logic board replacement, mind you, and so when the employee told me $500, I thought that wasn't too bad considering a new logic board could cost much more. Unfortunately, I was right. When I attempted to verify if that price was for both repairs, she said something along the lines of, "Oh, well for both you would have to pay around $1000. We recommend you getting an external drive instead."
Of course I would. This thing is five years old, and I'm looking into purchasing a brand new 24-inch iMac myself. Never would I pay the price of a new machine for two simple repairs. Outrageous. I'm going to simply fix it myself and hopefully I can get the FireWire ports to start working. The ports' work on and off at the most inconvenient of times, and I read some tips on MacFixit for solving the problem, so who knows.
I could bring it into the store and see what they would say then, but this thing isn't light at all. And, I could then look to replacing the internal memory module and maxing the machine out at 2GB. That would be good. I'll let you all know how it goes. Still, I can't fathom why they would charge $500 for a simple DVD drive replacement. And double that to add in a logic board? Insane. This G4 isn't worth that much. Why is it that Apple wants so much for their older hardware? Scarcity, low demand, or the initial cost of parts could be reasons, but I still doubt they would go that high.