So in the last couple of months, I've bought two used sewing machines, a mid-70s Kenmore and an early 80s Elna (swiss). The Kenmore retailed in 1976 for about $750 (better than $3,000 of today's dollars, according to the Dept of Labor's CPI calculator). The Elna was probably in the same ballpark. I paid $25 for the Kenmore and $40 for the Elna. Both of them are pretty pristine, though the Elna has lost its attachments, which I'll have to replace. Both of these are high-end mechanical machines with a lot of precision engineering in them.
Yesterday, I scored a c. 1930s White Mountain hand-crank ice cream freezer on eBay, in...OK condition. It's got some rust, a missing screw, etc. To describe these freezers as low-tech is to be kind. In 1927, it cost about $7...close to $100 in today's money. I paid almost $80 for it, nearly as much as it cost new.
Interesting, the relative values people put on things.
FWIW, the current incarnation of White Mountain freezers is owned by Rival and is manufactured in China. Apparently, the gear boxes are such junk (zinc gears, really?) that they tend to fail after just a few batches. And they cost $180 or so.