[...] You're stilling looking at it from some component spec but a buyer might look at the time saved between choosing more RAM when buying their Mac over going to some 3rd-party site to hunt down the right RAM, having it shipped to them (perhaps from a company they've never used), and then installing it themselves or having someone else do it as a favour or for a fee as "better."
I understand what you're saying. Maybe I haven't acknowledged that clearly enough in my responses. I completely agree. Even with easily serviceable machines like I have now, upgrades are an inconvenience I could do without. I'd much rather NOT start dismantling my new computer moments after unboxing it. The only reason I do is because the cost of having Apple do it for me is enough to overcome the cognitive dissonance that makes me believe it's worth it.
I'm so lazy I shower with my clothes on to avoid doing laundry, so when the prices are high enough to overcome THAT kind of inertia and make ME do it myself, it's past the point of being even a premium-price luxury convenience.
I know what you mean. It's a question of value -- how much is my time worth, what is the perceived benefit of doing something more productive or enjoyable vs. the cost of the service? That's reasonable and, as you suggest, I do it all the time. There's a threshold though. At some point the cost exceeds that value perception. I appreciate that the threshold is different for everyone, but I honestly think it's fair to generalize that the current price points for Apple add-ons are above the point *most* people would consider "reasonable."