What matters is the value, not only the price.Let's say you have a $30 Arduino, but you need 1 additional serial port and 10 I/O ports... Hmmm... problem can be solved adding i2c to UART chips, softserial, i2c to GPIO, multiplexing, charlieplexing (or whatever it is called) but you need to dedicate more time to program, more time to debug. How much is it worth having those extra features in ONE single board?If you don't need the additional features, then even $35 is expensive compared to a $30 Arduino... if you enjoy having all the features to play with, then HA! priceless.
could daisy chain a few multiplexers and implement software serial and I'd be able to have the same amount of outputs and UARTs as the 1280.
Sorry, but there is a huge difference between software serial and a real hardware UART.
His attitude is why the PIC16F84 stayed popular for so long.
"You don't learn how to drive a car with a Porsche"... well, the MEGA is a Porsche
arduino mega is available for 39 euros...
With the standard Arduinos, you can prototype a project, and when it's working you can you can ... make your project and still have your Arduino board for the next project.This possibility is probably going to dissaper with the mega board.
I think one should be able to use a breakout board? Or one could make pcbs. I do not think the possibility is going to disappear:)