I don't get it. Just Looks like an over-priced, somewhat automated, vivarium to me...
That's fair. I am personally a very gung-ho DIYer, so a part of me died a little when I saw what they were asking for those. Even the small ones (which would only be appropriate for a rather small collection of mini orchids) are like $500. The "larger" ones (which still aren't really big enough for much beyond minis) are north of $1000. That's a lot of precious orchid-money!It probably is an over-priced, somewhat automated vivarium.
BUT: I think the point is that a good proportion of people have no idea of how to go about setting something like this up, and so derive a level of comfort from a turnkey system.
I've seen some very snazzy DIY orchidarium builds. But yeah, a lot of them tend to be more functional than "centerpiece worthy." However, I think this was the intention from the beginning for most of them (most people just want something that will grow the orchids they want to grow reasonably well). I guess it's all in what you want and how much time you have to make it work - and some people have more money than time (nothing wrong with that).Also, it looks rather snazzier than a typical aquarium build.