Sorry, I was refering to manufacturers list prices. Honda nippondenso compressors are some of the cheapest.
As it turns out we used to use Legend compressors for one of the MB compressors untill MB came out with their rebuilt program (I think it was the 10P17c used for 4.2 and 5.6 V8s - we had to shim the mount as the block was thinner). We used to buy new compressors for around $350 without clutches.
Some people have their own price systems. Take Midas they all seam to charge exactly double on all MB brake parts (double list price that is) That makes things higher than they should be. I think you were exposed to such a price.