There are people who have already spent thousands of dollars on this game. I have personally spent more money than I would have if I had played a comparable subscription game in the last 7 months. So let's not pretend Anet is somehow going to be on life support if it doesn't gouge people for an item that should have been in the game for free from day one.People have been complaining about what a bogus hassle the gathering tool crap is since beta.
Lots of people are complaining about the price and stating they will not buy this item. The fact that you claim to have done so doesn't mean it is not overpriced. In terms of the in game economy no one can argue this mining pick is cost effective. By the time it pays for itself most nodes will be near worthless. In terms of real world economy that same $10 per toon could buy you another character slot and hundreds of hours of extra game play. Even by the standards of what you can get in the Anet cash shop this is a rip off. The $50 to equip all my toons could buy me another game entirely. If Anet made the price reasonable, they might make more money through increased sales than they do overcharging people.
But if you feel that strongly about Anet's finances perhaps you and the other "Anet supporters" should write them a check for a few thousand dollars. It seems NCSoft needs the money more than you do.
The opportunity cost is indeed unquestionably and without arguement extremely high at 800 gems. However this is a limited time release cosmetic and convenience item. Right now it may seem excessive, but on a long enough time-line, its a worthwhile thing. Let's say that GW2 runs a length of time identical to GW1 between launch and release of a sequel (GW3?). GW1 released in 2005 and GW2 launched in 2012, giving a 7 year focus upon the GW1 franchise. Now imagine you bought something comparably priced, limited release, cosmetic, and convenient (an unlimited salvage kit for example) within the first year of GW1 getting 7 years of usage out of it. Apply that logic to this item. Yes it cost you $10 worth of gems, yes that was a very high impact cost, but as the weeks roll into months, and those roll into years, that sunk cost becomes virtually irrelevant. Perhaps by this time in the next year or two you may very well be kicking yourself for not even buying just one for your main while you had the chance.
I am in no way defending the absurdly high price tag, nor stating it is fairly valued even in relation to other cash shop items. In those regards I largely agree with you. I'm simply introducing an unrecognized element to you of it being a long term investment in terms of prestige (limited time release cosmetics), convenience (inventory space, running out of picks, missing out on an ore vein, etc.), and eventually in-game currency (no waypoint gold sink just for the gold sink of buying picks) making the pick, no matter the gem cost, inevitably worth the purchase on a long enough time line.