^ Yes, but he can safely re regarded as an outlier in the industry.
Regarding ID SUB companies, I would say:
1. As already alluded, it's no coincidence that the prices are all-but fixed (in a GOOD way, lol).
Sure, maybe a $100 off here or there, or an intro price on a new model for a month to drum up first-timers and get the product out there, but, by and large, the cost is the cost, and that's usually a good indication that you have a product that is being executed on some pretty competitive/tight margins.
2. Amps. For a good while anyway, they seemed to be the weak link in the chain with more than one ID manu. Now, it seems I hear less and less about failures so perhaps this area has been cleaned up a bit. I'm sure there's some here who could speak from a much more informed stance than I on the issue, though.
Still, a good number of outfits will build you a passive model and let you choose your own amplifier...potentially offering up even more value. I chose this route and saved myself nearly $1400 at the time while just giving up 3-5dbs of output I really didn't "need". I can always of course upgrade the amp.
3. Cabinetry/aesthetics. All in the eye of the beholder, but by and large I've yet to see one ID that consistently outpaces the better retail vendors, cab for cab.
And that's not to say some ID's don't have the ability to crank out decent cabs, it's just to say that even some of the better ones seem to be more vulnerable to a hiccup here and there.
Hard to say empirically I suppose, just more of an "educated guess" and experience on my part.
In the end I don't know that I'd say, overall, that they're over-hyped at all. There's so much out there to choose from- at nearly every price point- that you're almost certainly guaranteed to save hundreds or thousands going the ID route.
And in the current economic state of affairs for most in this country, I think pocketing that kind of cash could never be over-hyped.
Actual phone call (see pic to left):
Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"
Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."