There's a little maxim that holds true in marketing "cost is not a basis for pricing". You got there in you last paragraph but backslid into the hope of a "Moore's Law" for cameras. I don't think so except perhaps for the used market of rapidly depreciating models.
I'd quibble with you over the net cost of the mechanical parts vs. the electronics, display, etc., but that's completely beside the point. I didn't make my argument based on price - I base it on the marketability of a camera with the D1's features and quality.
If Nikon can get $1000 for an F100, another $250 for the battery grip, they can and will be able to sell a camera like the D1 for more soley on the basis of features and build quality. I didn't mention RGB metering because of the cost adding it to the camera, but because of the value it has in marketing.
Add to that foundation the desireability of the D1's digital imaging capabilities in the marketplace and the concept of a cheap D1 is a pipe dream. I hope you're right, but I suspect that Nikon would get out of the DSLR business if profits got that thin.
I get a kick out of PC magazine and Extreme Tech doing camera reviews. I guess they get bored doing motherboards and video cards so they play experts on photography. It's okay editorially because there's silicon inside. Wait until they start doing car performance reviews for models with on board computers...
BTW, just look at the video camera market to see how the pricing strategy will work. With electronics, you come up with some new, desireable features often enough that your most desireable product retains its pricepoint year after year, and keeps its high profitability.