I always try to think in terms of "hours of entertainment per dollar." Using that, any RPG I'm going to actively play is a good investment, especially compared to a movie or novel (and I have no problem paying for those!).
Not to sound like a socialist or anything, but another factor to consider is overall cost to the group. Consider the dice: When I play a d20 game (which is mostly what I do -- my group currently cycles between my Star Wars Saga campaign and two 4E games), everyone has their own set of dice. In fact, I think everyone has a giant sack of dice. Admittedly, those dice have been accumulated over the years, but the total investment for the table has to be somewhere between 50 and 100 bucks.
Now, on the other hand, it's my understanding that most EotE groups playing so far have been sharing dice. So while one or two people are probably shouldering the cost, the per-table cast is likely pretty low.
Same thing with the books, I suspect. If I decide to convert my game to the new system, I know that not everyone is going to buy the book. Since they really only need it for character creation, at least half of the other players will likely borrow mine. 4E, on the other hand, I think everyone has the PHB and 3 of 5 players have the DMG... not to mention the various and sundry support books that you need to keep your character up to speed.
When we converted to Saga (this campaign actually started in the WEG d6 system -- it's been a looooong haul), I bought the core book and I think one other player did two. Now a second player has the core book... but only because I gave him my spare. Beyond the core book, I think one player has the KotOR book. Otherwise, the financial burden has been all mine.
So, for the guy buying everything, it's can be pretty pricey. But for the hours of enjoyment the table is going to get? A pretty good bargain, I think.