Why the heck did this project need $7,200 to start? The kit isn't even cheaper than what it would take to procure the PCB and parts myself.
Valid question, but you're missing the point.
He's answered that one on the kickstarter page, I won't duplicate it here. If you're asking the question, you're probably not his target market. The Arduino community consists of lots of members with radically varying skill sets and interests - you may be capable of and interested in soldering SMT parts, but that puts you in the minority. I have the ability, but neither the time nor the interest - I'd rather have a pre-assembled device that I can stick in a device. I'd also rather pay for a discrete component that solves a particular problem well than spend hours coding and debugging device bit-banging routines; to each his own.
His goal is to bootstrap the device so that Sparkfun (et al) will eventually pick up manufacturing and sell an inexpensive version. Kickstarter is a means to an end. Read up on the device and his intent before knocking the guy - he's got some big ideas.