Well I wasn't going to chime in on the discussion of the SMT price tage but seeing as how it is still going strong I'll throw out my misguided opinion on the matter.
The simple fact is JRPG's do not sell as well as other titles. Yet we all want to them localized. The people who want these games will gladly pay whatever is asked for them, when the want them (myself included), as illustrated in "completed listings" on ebay (just look up Suikoden 2).
With the aforementioned being fact, it only seems reasonable they charge a bit more IMO. I'm actually surprised we don't see this more often. And when it comes to a company like atlus that pumps out quality localizations I not only accept the price hike, I support it. If an extra 10 bucks per title helps to get more games I want to play available in a language I can comprehend I'll gladly pay.
Cost vs. hours is irrelevant to me. What is relevant, is what actually gets localized. The only way to increase odds of localization is to increase how profitable said projects are. Translating and publishing a JRPG in NA now cannot be nearly as profitable as it was 15 years ago yet we all still want to see it happen. It seems to be as simple as that to me. And when I look at that way I am fine with paying more.