Sorry, but you just have to accept that we do get gouged. $699 equates to £472 at current exchange rate. There is no import duty on computer equipment from the US, and the UK price (excluding tax) is £552, so we are sucking up an extra $118 (again, excluding taxes) compared to US price.
Even if we accept that it's more expensive doing business in the UK/Europe, the $100 increase from the old model got translated into an extra $164 at this end excluding taxes... and because we then get stiffed for the VAT, that extra $64 then becomes an extra $75 on the bottom line - that's why we get a bit p*ssed
EDIT: ... no import duty from China either
It's not so much gouging as Apple being horrible at supply chain management. The extra $ isn't being taken by Apple, it's wasted along the way.
I remember reading an article last year that layed it out. It suggested that for many non-U.S. countries, Apple couldn't even tell you how their products get there. They subcontract it out, pay a fee, slap the fee on that country's price and are done with it. Pathetic really.