Do you people actually believe this was a bug? That's just their way of raising the cost without catching too much flak for it. My guess is that they feel there is too much money floating around with inflated prices of some things on the GTN. They're just trying to cause deflation. Other than that I see no reason for them to raise repair costs. Doesn't bother me much because we use guild funds for repairs on ops and I don't die much otherwise.
I don't think this is the whole story, on either side, but rather somewhere between the two. The penalty for death had become a joke, and repair costs had been reduced too far for their tastes. Costs are now considerably higher, but not as high as they had been in the past. It looks to me like they are trying to find a middle ground.
I think this whole issue would be solved by tapering the costs off at the higher end, the cost should not be hitting 100k for a single repair bill. I think they should also *strongly* consider reducing the amount of damage gear takes through normal wear and tear (i.e. when you aren't dying).