set of pencils is $20 at any art store- h to hb to bIt's not ignorance. I thought the exact same thing when I first looked at em. The bulk of the money is for the actual pencil holder, and its job is to create a line at the exact same pressure & force every single time. Though it's ridiculously overpriced, the accuracy of your results using those pencils without the holder might be misleading. You could totally get by with just the set of pencils, which I think is just over $100. You'll just have to be cognizant of the importance of using the same amount of force while drawing lines by hand.
If you do happen into an art store, let them know I have some artwork for sale. Thanks.