I feel the time is approaching when I'll likely buy Pixel Pro's RF-1B. I've examined closely the major options in antennas. Amplified antennas have their place as do dipoles, but general coverage, wide-band magnetic loops have the greatest flexibility. I need AM's capability of utilizing skywave at night with the ability to null the sheer number of interfering stations... with thanks to the FCC. Can you sense the sarcasm?
LF Engineering's H-800 works very well as a general coverage, amplified antenna, but its omni-directional capability is a hindrance with the sheer number of MW stations operating on the same frequency. Frankly, if the work of regulatory bodies were confined to minimizing interference, an omni-directional antenna such as the H-800 would be the cheapest solution. With the current mess on AM, a SWL/DXer needs a highly directional antenna on a rotor. Dipoles require adequate height and space and are restricted to certain bands.
To new SWLs, bite the financial bullet and buy a wide-band magnetic loop. Both Wellbrook and Pixel Pro sell excellent models. Currently, expect to spend $500.
To manufacturers, I expect a decent market exists for a good general coverage, wide-band magnetic loop at a retail price of <= $250. $125 sounds reasonable for parts and labor to assemble such an antenna.