It's all extremely pricey, but I think it's a chicken and egg situation here.
I think piracy is more commonplace nowadays than it was way back in the days of, say, for example, the Amiga in it's prime, since the advent of the net, and filesharing programs such as eDonkey, Direct Connect, or WinMX (the list is endless). Stuff spreads quicker and gets to 'end users' a lot quicker than it used to.
The chicken and egg?
As far as I'm concerned, high prices came BEFORE piracy, one obviously causing the other, and since the (to quote an earlier post) greedy publishers are hell bent on getting as much money as possible out of a deal/franchise they're blaming piracy for their greed, and encouraging piracy as a result.
To sum up : IMHO, piracy is caused by the publishers themselves.
I think many will disagree with me, as tends to be the case on this board (that I love so much)
Just to give an example, incidentally, I've had a PC since I first built one about 3 or 4 years ago, in which time I've probably bought about 15-18 games, budget or otherwise. I have over 300 games in my collection, so we can deduce I have about 280 copied/downloaded/ripped games.
However, I had the Amiga 500 as a main machine for about 6 years, in which time I bought well over 300 original games, full price and budget. This is due to two things :
1) Price was acceptable.
2) Games were actually good back then, see 1)
3) Wasn't in an area where pirated copies were freely available.
1) and 2) are the major reasons, 3) is a backup for laziness.
Any comments on this rambling?