I'm new to the forum so Hi to everyone.
I came from a steel string acoustic guitar background. Starting as a hobby but kept learning and improving and it's been more than 10 years now. Like some people, I went from Chinese laminate to Taylor to Martin, to vintage Martin and Gibson but eventually found that it's the player who matters. It's the mind and fingers that produces the desired tone, although a decent instrument definitely helps.
I recently became interested in classical guitar as I accidentally played one in Guitar Center and it suits my fingerstyle playing very well. Wide string spacing makes more room for fingers, and nylon makes it easier to fret as well as produces a warm, clear and pleasing tone. Not to mention the fingers don't get as tired as on steel strings. It seems a good fit for everything I play and after lots of research and playing almost all the stores I can visit I ended up with a decent sounding and looking C10.
During the research I found out there's a big difference in price between steel string acoustic and classical guitar. They are made with similar woods, my C10 for instance mahogany neck, solid cedar top, solid indian rosewood back sides. Although the top is very tight grained (about 300 years old) quarter-sawn cedar which by all standards is a high quality piece of wood, and the back sides are also good looking, the price is below $1000. Many spruce-top classical guitar uses European spruce or Engelmann which are very common on steel string guitar as well. Spending $2500 to $4000 can get one into one-off custom made to order luthier guitar that meets the specific needs of the player. And vintage Ramirez 1a can be bought for about $4500, which from my reading so far is a concert level guitar that can hold up very well even at Carnegie Hall. Some discussion even leads to the statement that "In my opinion, one should not spend more than $2500 on any factory made guitar".
One the other hand, Martin's standard D-28 - factory made, solid spruce top with indian rosewood back sides - costs $2629 MAP. And that's the cheapest in the "Standard Series". One can easily get lost in the worlds of Golden Era, Marquis, Authentic, eventually the real "Authentic" - vintage and spend $5000 on a new guitar is all but uncommon. $1000 can only get a Mexico made Martin guitar if one wants the brand name. Similar price point applies to other factory made guitar. If one goes for custom made one man shop, the starting price would be something like $12,000 or even $25,000 and wait list can be 2-5 years.
Is this because of the demand? Although my personal experience tells me that a guitar is after all, a guitar. It's the player who makes the music. And nylon string guitar is by no means inferior in quality, wood, sound, playablity than steel string counterparts. In fact, I feel they are much more resonant, perhaps because of less need to withstand string tension so much lighter top and bracing.
What is your opinion regarding the current market price for both type of instruments?