First about the price hike. It only makes sense looking at the market now a days. The costs for shipping are through the roof. While over the past few years much of this fuel cost has been subsidized by the gov, that is funneling off. For education, google the price of tin over the past decade. That will explain almost everything. Consider market value of goods between say 98 and now.
No your right Tin has increased in price, this is why you look for cheaper alternative ;) going back to part lead isnt really such a sin, by doing this the demand for tin is less and the prices drop again, pretty simple really. The price of fuel has been going down for some time round here, i actually live next to a petrol station so do pay some attention here.
Compare the rise in price of gas, milk, eggs, electricity to the rise in price of miniatures. You'll find that the ratio of growth is much lower for minis. Remember also that in the 90s, early 00s we where in an unprecidented peak in economy. High salary, low unemployment. The market for for our recreational dollars was saturated. That is no longer the case.
The difference here is that the examples you listed are things that are required to live, electricty isnt also raisng at half the rate the gas, i think the last price rise was 9% compared to gases 34% (well round abouts). The other thing you certainly dont take into consideration is that many supermarkets still offer great deals on foods, if you shop about you can take advantage of great offers, so many do buy one get ones free deals or buy x for the price of y
Look at the upsides. I cannot count high enough to remember how many gripes I hear about 'it's turning into a kids game'. Rule of economy should bring the 'this tall to ride' back up to at least the bottom of our beards. So people can no longer buy a tourney smashing list they read on the internet in one swoop, then never paint it, all the better. I personally hope the price hikes motivate people to do more with what they buy. We should see more conversions, better paint jobs. Over all more love for the models people do own, less second hand crap armies on ebay that didn't survive when the table met the mathhammer.
A price rise wont stop warhammer/40k becoming a kids rise, most the kids i have seen play warhammer certainly dont come from poor backgrounds. The powerlists of the internet are usually of low model count so again has no real affect here. You hope it will motivate people to do more with what they buy? so you support this price rise people it will make people buy less stuff thus meaning less spending in GW and thus the need for yet another price rise! Have actually thought about this?
Almost forgot. About the online and retail discount merchants. This is only a way that we cheat ourselves. An online store emlpoys maybe a handful of people, in a remote loacation, with no customer service. you'll never go to www.cheapgwminis.com
on saterdays to play a few games with the boys. As more people shift to this alternative, those sales are lost by local comic/gaming/hobby shops that actually participate in the hobby. That or takes sales away from GW. Many complain about how from direct order they profit too widely. This is an invalid arguement to cover frugalty. They are a business, they will make thier money off us. If we try to skirt around it and use discount merchants, this forces price hikes. The question becomes do we as gamers support the hobby, or do we support consumer fulfilment. Becuse the latter can be fulfilled buying cheaply made t shirts at walmart, and accomplish further selling out your country's economy at the same time.
Nope i wont, i wouldnt go to GW on a saturday and play games of warhammer either, full of kids, i would rather get my board out, have someone over and have a few beers. Tell you what, i will start to use online stores, if GW wants me to return to their stores the they need drop the prices. For the record this price rise is the reason i will no longer shop in GW. GW is screwing itself out of customers, if it wants them to return to the stores it needs to lower its prices, simple as really. Its not a charity case, its a business, im certainly not going to visit a store because i feel sorry about their profit margin. If i wanted to donate some money id go to the rspca and get a new cat ;)
I still find this funny, so many people out their dont think GW has to work for your money, every other retailer does
At the end of the day GW needs its customers, not its customers needs GW, the hobby would continue with or without GW in one form or another.