@tibs3688 - I think you're looking at it from a top-tier level. Not every player plays at the top tier. My dad, for instance, enjoys just sitting around fishing in the game when he's bored. WoW has an incredibly deep single player experience as well as an incredibly deep and amazingly supported multi-player experience. The point I'm making is more to my last line @Kennon. AGoT seems to be targetting. . .
You're right; not everyone plays at the top level. Those folks can indeed just buy a core set, a couple house expansions, and whatever random CPs suit their fancy and play their friends casually with random crappy decks. I recall the main complaint against AGoT's affordability here being how much it costs to play at tournament level. If playing with broken decks and going to tournaments doesn't suit you there's no reason the game needs to cost much at all. Me and my friends started off having plenty of fun with just 1 core set; some of them lost interest soon after, others like myself wanted to go further, but we all had the same entry point.
Out of curiosity, what absurd deck are you referring to?
House of Dreams Tunnels of the Red Keep with Pentoshi Manors and Castellans. I'm not sure which is more unsatisfying to play against, that or GJ choke. Probably choke, but man was that HoD deck just unpleasant. He retired it because there was only one person in the meta willing to play against it (Targ Dragons apparently hard counters it pretty well).
Going back to affordability, the point I'm making is that this game is expensive at the most basic level to get into. It is cheaper to play almost any other game than this one due to the backlog of cards you might be forced to get. I'm not sure that the main complaint was against tournament level, but even if it were, that doesn't mean it's the only significant consideration in affordability. Barrier of entry is a consideration in affordability as well. And if going to tournaments doesn't suit me (pretty much everyone who plays competitively tries a tournament at some time, a pleasant tournament experience increases their interest in the game even if they lose every game) I would play board games. Also, what you just indicated costs $100 - $160. If they just wanted to play games at home they could've bought Chaos in the Old World, Power Grid, and Agricola for that price (going back to value/affordability) or Glory to Rome, Race for the Galaxy, and Dominion if they wanted more of a card game oriented game.
@Danigral - Foils are about increasing the appeal of buying the game. If people like foils, they might be more inclined to buy AGoT. If they like collectibility in their card games, now they can try to collect foils. They neither add nor take away from the playing of the game and require nothing more than figuring out how to print foil cards and put them in a box.
As for giving a deck that can win world's, it's about a game where losing is still fun. I've said this before, I rarely lose a game of Netrunner and feel like I couldn't have done something better. Sometimes the cards fall wrong, but most of the time I could've played better. This game I rarely felt that way. If this game shifts back towards that kind of feeling when the game ends, I bet its popularity will increase. The same with adding something superficial like foils. I'll bet you'll see an increase in popularity (or sales) if they were able to do it.
It's actually pretty funny seeing someone do a TL:DR for this. I don't even think I could come up with a legit one.