I was looking for Ghost Tricks yesterday at Best Buy too and had the same surprise as you. But I think it is in a similar situation as the iPhone App Store. A lot of great games bury in so many shovelwares due to the mainstream success of the platform. Everyone wants to make games for it be it crap or gem.
But it has a ton of games coming out for it between now and March (before 3DS arrives). Ghost Tricks Okamiden Dragon Quest VI Pokemon White & Black Kingdom Hearts…. all heavy hitters.
I think this list is actually very attractive for Japanese gamers. We all know they adore Samurai Warriors and Winning Eleven, and both are always gangbuster sellers. Super Street Fighter IV and Professor Layton will be big sellers no doubt. Ridge Racer has a big fanbase as always. And last but not least, the biggest seller of them all will be Nintendogs + Cats.
People would have no problem with the game being $50 had they announced it in a "ordinary" way just like every other games. The game would still received awesome reviews and will sell millions. It could be the kind of retro revival that the New Super Mario Bros or the upcoming Donkey Kong Country Returns have enjoyed.
But after all these horrible marketing fiasco there is no way EA can come up with a plan that does not piss off anybody. People's perception of what the game is worth has already been changed.