I got it for $200 (I think) on the second KS, which is still really expensive but approached a price level I could force myself into justifying. Specially since I got into wargames (which have crazy pricing).
But yeah, it’s a pity they don’t want to release non-minis version that can go for $100-150 when on a discount. Cheapest way to get the game would be buying it new and sell the minis (make your own standees). I’m pretty sure you can get close to $200 for the minis second hand. But it would be a hassle to manage.
I think it’s a great design but I’m always wary recommending it because of the crazy price.