I agree with your pricing analysis Ken, although there are other minor contributing factors of course (e.g., how badly a seller of a highly desirable cue wants to sell). Just for the record Ed Prewitt works by himself. His cue output for the last several years has been in the range of 12-18 cues a year. Increasingly, people send Ed older Prewitt cues for new shafts and refinishes and this seriously cuts into his ability to complete new cues (just as it does with Dennis).
All the cue makers you have mentioned have extreme intensity in their craft.
It would not be fair to say one cue maker has more intensity then the other Hall of Famer, and some future Hall of Famer's.
I don't believe any of the mentioned cue maker's have a helper, but not sure about Ed Prewitt and Dennis.
All the Cue Maker's mentioned have their own way of making cue's. That includes how long it takes, and how many they produce.
Pricing is all about supply and demand.
Barry Szamboti makes approx. 15 cues a years. Supply low, demand High.
Joel Hercek makes approx. 25 cues a year. Supply low, Demand High.
Ernie G. makes approx. triple digits a year. Supply is still low because of the sheer about of people over sea's and in the U.S. that want his cues.
This is what makes Ernie a Hall of Famer and the Greatest Cue maker alive.
He makes some of the Greatest cues in the world with execution second to none, and works by himself, and has the greatest work ethic to produce this amount of incredible cues.
Dennis Searing makes approx.??. 4-5 cues a year. Supply Low, Demand High.
The market is made by how badly people want the few cues that are made available. Looking at the above numbers. Doesn't take rocket science to figure out why prices are what they are.
Ernie is the exception to every rule. For 50 years he supplied the world with amazing cues and alot of them, and his reputation and unbelievable work is what keeps his prices up.