People are just assuming they're expensive because they see how expensive tablets, particularly, ipads are despite their low production costs.
The U-pad has tech much less advanced that what is in the Ipad. It doesn't even have any CPU(1) and such things because it's the console that does the work.
It probably cost around $50 to produce and would retail at around $70/$80 if sold at retail seperately at launch.
The DS has more components than U-pad and Nintendo can sell those at a profit at $99.(2) There isn't really anything in the U-pad that isn't mature, inexpensive tech. That's how Ninendo works after all.
That leaves $250 - 260 for the console assuming they'll take a small loss to begin with as Iwata said they might or a very small profit at launch.
I'm predicting a $300 price tag minimum (Since Iwata said it would be more expensive than what Wii launch at $250) and $350 maximum with the console, a U-pad, Wiimote and maybe a nunchuk too, plus some game demos like Wii had.
The Wii U pad won't add a $100 price to the console bundle.
There are other kinds of processors than a CPU. Again, this has to turn a streaming signal into an image. That requires some kind of processor.
2. You're taking number of components as your factor? Are you really that ignorant of how tech works? And I can already prove your claim wrong. The screen is closer to the XL, which costs a lot more, due to the expense of a larger screen, which this controller also has.
This is ignorant speculation, not sensible. You're just making assumptions that have no basis in reality. Larger screens cost more money. And this kind of screen needs a processor to make an image.
A flashy-first game is awesome when it comes out. A great-first game is awesome forever.
Plus, just for the hell of it: Kelly Brook at the 2008 BAFTAs