The answer is simple: if something that is in demand is obviously overpriced, or when reasonably priced locked down with restrictions (DRM) stealing is obviously justified.
I don't follow your logic here, how is stealing something that is a nonessential item justified because the product itself is out of your price range?
We need to remember that these artists are not suffering what so ever. File sharing gets them exposure, some people, like myself will download a cd sometimes and if its good go and buy it to support that artist.
Actually, this is not really accurate. The lack of overall sales for artists means less funds in the pool, which means less available funds to record for many artists. Often it is these funds that move artists forward, as in the case of signing with a medium sized label.
Nonetheless, file sharing is here to stay, and penalizing someone to that extent makes no sense.