Graham, I respect your effort to smooth out some of the waves this massive price increase creates, but your logic is skewed as well if you go down to the real meat - numbers.
I was a happy Foundation customer.
Foundation no longer exists.
Then I was an Essentials customer.
Essentials no longer exists.
At this moment I have a network license and gold support, both of which I don't need.
I would still be a happy Foundation customer.
So in your view I can't compare the old Foundation price to what I am able to get nowadays.
But these are the realities private users and freelancers deal with.
I personally am not using XSI only, far from it. I need to maintain a huge bundle of 3D-, Audio-and Video-Web- and whatnot-Software and -Hardware to be able to deal with all the different jobs I get. So in a way, I have way higher per-seat-costs than larger companies where the individuals are usually way more specialized or licenses can be shared or re-used for network rendering.
This is why your view - a very Autodeskish view - is simply irrelevant for me.
It is similar to my reseller who gave me a phonecall this morning and wanted to interest me in buying 3 years of subscription in advance for the old price. That's now the third time she tried to get me into this and it's not appreciated.
I will keep my current version, drop subscription and see if a future job will pay for another update or not.
Or I will learn to live with the alternatives like Blender, Lightwave etc.
I will even be a happier person without having to deal with Autodesks attitude towards it's customers