The hookahs is not upwards of $600. It's $279. Yes, expensive and significantly more than I would spend on it. But there are surely some EH enthusiasts who would be willing to pay that. I'm sure the thing isn't really cheaply made, even if it is made in China. Chinese made doesn't equal poor quality.
I don't know, $279 seems pretty reasonable for a specialty item. And when it comes to specialty products, people who don't have that particular interest are always going to think it's stupid.