Well, it's an Atlus game. A niche. They only release x amount of copies, which tend to sell and go out out of print fast. The price for Devil Survivor: Overclocked jumped $20 after Amazon ran out of copies a month or two later. Used copies are listed at $38, with new ones as $45 and up :/ The Persona series and Catherine are still easy to find and reasonable priced, but for stuff like DS, it's best to preorder or buy soon after launch.
I've never played a Phoenix Wright game. though I've heard good things about them. I'm happy my pre-ordered copy of SMT:DS2 is shipping soon! Though I never played the first one. Anything got to be better than Strange Journey. I hope.
Strange Journey and DS2 are two completly different types of games. SJ is more of an old school dungeon crawler and is reminscent of the older SMT games. DS & DS2 (which are not really connected so no real worries there) are more or less SRPG's. I found all three of these games to be really good, but I understand if you didn't like SJ as it's not for everyone. DS & DS2 will have a more involved story, better overall characters, and all in all should be a more enjoyable experience for you then SJ. If you have a 3DS I would suggest picking up Overclocked though. Although the two stories don't connect, it still is an amazing game :)
I've been an Atlus fan for a few years now. I saw the opening vid for Persona 3 and fell for it. Though I missed the launch window and couldn't find the game near me. ( I wasn't using the net for purchases then) After 5 months of searching I found a copy!!! So I bought the game with OST and art book used for like $54.00 plus tax. Of course they announced Persona 3 FES like two weeks after that, which had the original game and a new story on one disk.... I ended up buying that about a year later. though I haven't finished the main storyline yet (thought my save would transfer over so I wouldn't lose any data, and of course it makes me start over from the very beginning.)
Well, long story short, I learned my lesson and since I didn't have a DS when the original SMT:DS was out... I heard good things about it and the second one wasn't a direct sequel so it feels like a good place to start.
Hehe, sorry, long answer!
I also bought Persona 3 Portable (it had a girl main character so I couldn't resist!)
@Krylancelo I'm a long time fan of the Persona series. Strange Journey didn't really do it for me. I don't like the first person dungeon crawling/random battle. I'm not saying it's a bad game at all, it's just personal preference. The overall feel and setting of Devil Survivor is much more like Persona and Persona 2. The gameplay is phenomenal. The blend of classic turnbased RPG with SRPG is amazing. The Fusion system and auction system is great because you don't have to run around to find a Velvet Room or backtrack to one you've already found, you can buy demons and fuse them between battle wherever you are.. The story is pretty fast paced and engaging right off the bat. Maybe I'll give Strange Journey another shot, but it's definitely different than Devil Survivor.
To the OP. As others have said, Atlus only prints a couple runs, so eventually this may be hard to find. Because they're not typically popular among the more mainstream player, generally you can find copies at list price or below pretty easily for up to a couple years following release. As others have mentioned, gamestops are a great place to look if you don't mind buying it used because they have fixed prices that won't really fluctuate with the online market value. The only problem you may run into is that they, or the original owner threw the game case away (which is an atrocity in and of itself), or the person who stole it didn't steal the box and manual with it.