Actually the orange tip only applies to import, commercial sale, and transport in commerce. Once a private individual purchases the gun it's perfectly legal for them to remove the tip as far as Fed. law is concerned. I personally remove the tips on my guns and replace them with regular black flash hiders. That orange tip looks so goofy.
As for the cost of airsoft guns:
Most airsoft guns are infact quite a bit more complex mechanically than their real firearm counterparts. Also most airsoft manufacturers are pretty small operations so they just don't have the economy of scale that Colt or Ruger does. So for a good quality airsoft gun (not the cheap junk you see in walmart) it's no wonder that the price can run into the hundreds of dollars for a "toy". Pot metal helps keep costs down (and is perfectly fine for most airsoft guns) but aftermarket steel and aluminum replacement parts are readily available for most good guns at which point it's easy to match or even exceed the price of the real gun since it's now built pretty much just like a real gun.
Why would I spend so much on a "toy"? Well how often do i shoot my real rifle? Maybe once every 2 or 3 months just plinking targets at the range. i don't hunt. So the rest of the time it just sits by the bed in case of a home intruder that in all reality will probably never come. The airsoft guns however go to skirmishes every 2 or 3 weeks where they are run harder than most folks run their real guns. And are shot at home on a almost daily basis. So why wouldn't I spend more money on the airsoft replicas? They certainly see alot more use than the real ones.