Re: cork, & why it's so expensive
As mentioned Cork is a Widely used Product especially in The Wine Industry,some of The Best Quality Cork I've seen has been on Women's Shoes,Floor Tiles,Gasket Materiais etc.
Some of The Worst Quality has been on Some Rods,some Cork Rings I've bought.
Really when you look at price of Things Today there are still some Places where you can buy Good Quality Cork at reasonable Prices,then again lots of things we buy to do with Fishing is always expensive & mostly we always get Ripped off as us Fishermen are a Soft Touch.
Another example is Flytying Materials,A Spool of Holographic Tinsel cost me $2.45 for about 15 yrds,at Christmas Time a couple of years ago I Bought The Same Stuff made into Decorations & for $2 I have enough to do me a Lifetime...