I can believe that forums are monitored by interested parties but probably indirectly. For example, if a firmware upgrade for a certain popular SSD has been causing problems and many forums are abuzz with damning comments it might be advantageous to mitigate the situation by posting support information in said forums or advice on the RMA process. Something, anything,…. But to help gauge or set a price on something like this,….I don’t know about that. Even if they did employ such tactics I doubt if they would let it dictate price with any hard numbers initially. They must have had cost assessments for manufacture, known what segment of the market they wanted to sell in (MSRP) and how much profit they expected before the product was even given a go.