I already have the Asus Eee Slate EP121 Core i5 based PC tablet:
»www.asus.com/Tablet_Mobi ··· e_EP121/
Its now running Windows 8 Pro and in a lot of ways should be relatively comparable to the Surface Pro as well as other Windows 8 PC tablets. So I'll just stick with my aging hardware for now rather then be enticed by the Surface Pro or other Windows 8 Pro tablets.
The Surface Pro is actually cheaper then its predecessor Windows 7 PC tablets (of similar hardware class) so if anyone is shocked by the pricing they likely weren't looking at such devices much in advance of the Surface Pro.