Wow, some debate!!!!
Nothing wise to add re markups as, IMO, they are reasonable & necessary if someone wants to stay in business, and being a dealer in this business is something I would never do. All the valid points to justify the markups have been given. You dealers have my sympathy having to deal, day after exhausting day, with even sillier clucks than us!!!
So to return to the original question "Is Meridian worth it?"
For me, yes, but I can see that for others no. It is a personal, subjective choice. For those on a restricted budget look elsewhere - no one is forcing anyone to buy Meridian.
Bottom line is that something is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. You make your choice which camp suits you. The debate about markups (and particularly about car prices, Jaguars [and I do not like them either] etc) is, IMO, completely irrevelant to the original question!
Long live Meridian, and their dealers, and keep their margins up to the level required so that can happen.