Essential oils are just like any other product on the market - quality makes a difference. A car from Ford and a car from Ferrari are both still cars but they are vastly different in what they are capable in doing.
When you consider that It takes something like 5,000 pounds of rose petals to make one pound of pure rose essential oil how can a company only charge $28 and make money? It has to be diluted and or adulterated. I have used YL products on myself and my family for years and would never use any other company. I have been to their farms and I have talked to the people who distill some of their oils and I feel very confident using their products. YL is also a leader in the industry. Do you want to work with a company that follows or leads?
People complain about the price but if you need only one or two drops of a YL oil vs. more or a diluted oil which is the better deal? I would rather have a pure oil that I can dilute if needed over one that has been at best diluted and at worse also adulterated with an unknown substance. If an essential oil has been grown properly and distilled properly than it will have great therapeutic value. Years ago YL no longer sold helichrysum, a very expensive and effective oil, because the oil did not meet the standards that YL sets. Every oil is tested and if certain key constituents are not in a certain range the oil will not be bottled. That applies to all oils that YL uses, whether it is grown on their own farms or if they purchase it from another source. Other companies continued to sell helichyrsum as they had done before but it was a much less potent version (and probably sold it at the same price).
There are thousands of happy YL users and yes there are detractors as well. I find that the people yelling the loudest against YL are the ones that have never used YL.
Last point, if you pay $40 for a membership you get a wholesale pricing - which is much cheaper than the prices you mentioned. Sort of like a costco membership but better. You get two small bottles of oil, lavender and peppermint, and information on how to use the oils including precautions and a bit of history. As long as you spend $50 per year you do not have to pay to renew your membership. I blog about YL oils at www.younglivinglife.com if you want to read more about research I have found and ways that I use the oils.
To the person who says you should never consume an oil I have to ask why? Many of YL's oils have an FDA approved GRAS (generally regarded as safe) label. Everyday I use either citrus or peppermint in my water, I have taken others internally and would do so again. Why? Because I noticed a significant improvement when I took the oils. French medical doctors would prescribe using e.o. internally and many cultures still use oils internally as well. Just because the model of aromatherapy that you practice does not recommend it does not mean that it is not something that is safe and useful to others.
I hope I was able to answer some of your questions.