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Well you have to understand iStock is owned by Getty images, I think that says it all. I'm not sure how the pricing is structured, but it may be the providers charging more, not iStock. I notice vectors are way more expensive than photos, and even some photos are more expensive than others for the same size . . so I think the provider has to do with this.
Sorry for no better solutions . . . maybe time to learn Flash or Swish? :-)