I know there was a global version of the BBC iPlayer App for iPad in the works but I don't know what happened to it. Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2011/jul/28/bbc-iplayer-global-ipad-launch
$10 to $15 per unit doesn't seem like a big leap in the manufacturing cost. Presumably the yield rates will go up over time and they will withdraw the subsidies. Tim Cook is a clever guy, I'm sure he's factored this into the manufacturing costs.
I don't see any way around this. With 400k app's to chose from it's always going to be difficult to get your app known unless you're a big name developer with an advertising budget. No downloads means no reviews which probably puts people off downloading your app. Maybe Apple could have a section for undiscovered app's. 250 app's you might like to try which changes on a weekly basis. Or more sub categories to make search easier.