I look at it a tad differently.
Unless money is no object, people tend to prioritize how they spend it if they realize it or not.

The poor lowly vise is probably viewed by most as just a tool.
On the other hand, an overpriced $500 rod that requires at least a $200 reel, because a perfectly adequate 50 buck job
wouldn't look right, is no doubt viewed as something else.

But getting back to your premise that vise prices are overstated and considering how much money can be blown on this sport, priorities aside,,,
I'd have to agree that even a J-vise is probably a pretty good bang for the buck.