they are pretty great and they cost this much money because equipment to make them is expensive, not to mention materials, learning to use design programs, time it takes to create a CAD model, etc.
that said, as a classicaly trained jeweler myself, - the reason worksmanship is this precise is because its not done by hand. its done mechanically through a computerized process, with only minor human hand intervention in manufacturing process (mainly quality control and stone setting, and even then, its not exactly rustic).
I fully appreciate the thought that went into designing these rings though - the artistry is very VERY impressive. but if any of you are willing to invest some time into learning how to create 3D models, there's a company called shapeways that will print your designs for you, in a variety of metals or plastic. for a slightly smaller cost (since you will be investing your time into design, instead of paying an artist to do so) the choice whether to spend loads of time (and come to appreciate the artist and what they charge after realizing how much effort it actually takes to create something like these rings), or just pay the artist and get an item you can start wearing right away? is yours.
you may think its too expensive now. but try to create something like that, see how long it takes you, consider the overhead... and suddenly... it becomes a bargain
P.S. silver is currently around $35 an ounce, and most silver you can bring to a jewelry to "melt down" needs to be assayed (aka chemically cleaned from impurities) first, before you can work with it. (and it will probably cost more to create at local jeweler's if you want this same level of quality)