I really don't see why anyone thinks they have to buy these minis in order to play the game, you don't. Sure, the tokens aren't as nice as the minis, but you can still play the game with the tokens. If you absolutely feel you can't play the game with just the tokens, that's on you.
Look at it this way. No doubt each game has a production budget that they can't go over or they will either have to give up the game or, raise the price, which could cost them sales. It's likely that actually including the LT minis could have simply cost too much, and the only way to give us LT minis was to sell them separately.
Again, nobody is twisting your arms to get the minis, like any expansion, you can still play the full game without them if you feel they are too expensive.