Apparently you can get the student version for $50 since they don't ask for student ID or any such thing. Some have speculated the "student" version is aimed at comsumers.
Considering a single aircraft add-on with all aircraft systems fully modeled runs about $50, even $200 for the platform isn't out of line, as slawter was saying. I probably have $1500 in add-ons, but I was buying anything notable since the release of FSX.
I know I lost interest in the FS community partly after beta testing for Orbx and seeing what Orbx was actually about. JV isn't a nice guy like he pretends to be on the forums. The final straw was went SOH banned me for sharing my opinion about the "pay to play" direction they were taking their site. They accused me of being a "freeloader" for my comment, despite me pumping $1500 into the community. After that I was done buying add ons.