Ugh, I hate it when I see luxury car comparisons as a justification for an expensive product. Ir’s a tool, not a status symbol. To anyone who thinks their Form 3 is a BMW, go find a better way to flash your cash, because no one is impressed by what desktop 3D printer you have.
Sorry you had to deal with that. I just cringe every time I hear someone try to deflect reasonable questions wit some weird status appeal. So now, on to your actual question. Look, Formlabs is ridiculously expensive for the home market segment, but pretty reasonable compared to higher end machines like 3D Systems or Stratasys.
As far as what you get for that money, it really depends on the use case, and what is important to you. In my opinion the Form 3 (now that they’ve fixed some major problems they were having earlier) produces better results on small, highly detailed parts, than something like the Photon. It also does it with less effort by the user. The resin autofill, the resin jugs you just plug into the machine, the auto-sensing the type of resin and automatically knowing the right settings, the easily removable and swappable resin tanks, these are all quality of life improvements over something like the Photon. They all make it easier to just focus on your design and hit print.
Those all come at a relatively steep price, like highly consumable tanks, that cost as much as some printers, and resin that is several times more expensive than the competitors. If those kind of quality of life features are not important to you, and the, some would argue minor, difference in quality is not critical for the projects you are doing, then by all means, a cheaper printer sounds like it is a better choice for your needs. To a certain extent, I think it might just come down to your billing rate, and the value you put on your time.
In my use case, mainly making quick testing prototypes of products that are going to end up being CNC milled, all these advantages are more than worth it, because I have enough work on my hands with CNC toolpaths, and all the other stuff, that I want a fire and forget printer for my prototypes. But I can definitely see workflows where I would rather have several cheap printers, than one expensive printer where the consumables cost as much as another printer.