I don't really understand the point of your argument but it does deliver an interesting opportunity to outline the very great relevance of this piece.
It is true that the ACT4 had more than a couple of hitches on the road to market. At first the unit was planned as a 7.1 piece with HDMI 1.3. They delayed the first time to get an up to date HDMI. Just as that started to settle, ATMOS was revealed to the market and Acurus decided again to wait before releasing the piece. Finally HDMI 2.0 came along to delay things even a little longer...then DTS-X! The unit on sale now is therefore quite a different beast, 7.3.4 output with the most up to date HDMI boards available.
Acurus is not a huge company and during this time the project lead engineer also died in an incredibly tragic accident. Just some background on the process so far...
Also FYI the RS20i has doubled in price since it was released as well.
The really critical thing though, and why this unit is so relevant, is how it actually performs right now and where it fits in to the market place.
A few years ago there were several companies offering higher end AV Processors - ADA, Bryston, Classe and so on. These covered numerous price points, form factors, designs, outputs..you get the picture. As technology has evolved though, these companies have been gradually squeezed out of the market place since it is just too hard to engineer these units for the relatively smaller volumes of the high end market.
Eventually we are left with the situation where we are now, the mass market AV Receivers with their "no amp but 2x cost" processor equivalent then basically nothing until you get to the LS10 then another few thousand where you meet the RS20i and Trinnov products. I personally believe that there are many people who would love something better than the Chinese made stuff offers without having to get into the $20k+ bracket. That is the obvious target that Acurus are aiming for.
If it was just a price matter then we could all be happy but of course it is much more than that. With these devices it is about the combination of features and performance that makes the package and I really think that the ACT4 nails it on both counts.
As already noted, the unit supports ATMOS and DTS-X (and can upmix from one to brand to the other), it has HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2 with 8in and 2out, it has both XLR and RCA outputs numerous other inputs including a phono stage, analogue bypass and a detailed control suite.
On the control side it has the 7" touch screen on the front, IR (remote included!), serial and Ethernet. On the IP side, the unit has a built in webserver so no messing around with VNC or PC applications for setup - just crack open a browser and go. Setup is extremely easy and well laid out.
Performance will be subjective of course but I feel that I have as much experience as anyone here with the high end processors and I have not heard better for straight reproduction of music or soundtracks. I did a show in the UK recently and we had some of the best sound I have ever delivered at a show despite a relatively modest system cost.
The one thing that people throw out is that it has no room correction. Ignoring the fallacy that room correction always makes things better this also ignores what the unit can and soon will be able to do. The unit features a five band per channel EQ system that is smartly implemented including intelligent routing of an external source which makes it a breeze to plug in a system like REW and properly sweep each channel.
The next development for the team at Acurus will be the development of their own correction system - hardware wise the unit is ready so this is application development not product development. It would be easy to take Dirac and pay the fee and have a me too product but as always, the team don't want to just follow the herd. Much better for their company to develop their own IP which serves to differentiate them even more as a solid team of audiophile engineers.
It has been a long wait for the ACT4 but it is ready now. It offers audio performance that easily matches units at close to 3x the cost, largely equivalent functionality and the promise of further development on what is a modular hardware platform running SW developed in house. I think that is more than enough reason to be excited about this unit.