It is easy to say that a possession is not worth taking a life and it has a humanitarian appeal. But the reason so many seem willing is that gut knowledge, though often not expressed in words, that you have many hours and effort spent in acquiring that possession. That simple possession may represent great effort, planning and sacrifice, even a satisfied longing on the victim's part.
If the situation were different, and an intruder were to take you prisoner and force labor from you for a day or a week or a month, then take the direct fruits of your labor, would that be different from strong armed robbery? Would it be different from theft by deception or burglary? Why is theft while wishing to avoid contact with the victim any different from direct confrontation in a threatening manner?
Is the simple theft of a material possession be more acceptable than the theft of the effort required to acquire that possession? It is easier for a goblin to "shop" for what he wants or can resell, than to take you prisoner and make you work for him, and given a choice, I'd prefer that, as a victim. But in the end, what's the difference?
And the "Is $xxx.xx worth it?" line is different for each of us. $150.00 may not get you excited, but it may be important to me. The offense exists regardless of the value of the theft.
"The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion." - John Lawton, speaking to the American Association of Broadcast Journalists in 1995