My point isn't about the cost to make the gun. It is about market conditions. For the average new shooter it comes down to can they afford and/or find ammo. It is the cost of ammo that will dictate the price of the guns in the future, not the cost to manufacture them. I hope I am wrong.
You aren't wrong, but you aren't entirely right. The current shortage of .22s is just that, a current shortage, caused by panic buying, primarily. The .22LR is not only the cheapest round to make, it is made in the largest quantities. ITs not going away. What we have now is just a "bubble" condition, and it will bust. The only question is how long it will last.
Back in the 1970s, US shooters were going through a billion (that's right, Billion with a "B") .22LR rounds per year. This current shortage will end, I have faith in that.
Now, where you are right is about the cost of the ammo affecting the cost of the guns. But it doesn't apply to our .22s, because ammo is being made, and will be made. Even if it is not as cheap as it used to be, its still going to be much cheaper than centerfire rounds.
One place where the cost/availability of the ammo really affected the value of the guns is the 5mm Rem Mag. Remember that one? Hot number, for a little while, then faded. Rem quit making ammo (and nobody else took over), and today the guns are virtually worthless because of the shortage of ammo.
Collectors will still pay a little for the rifles, but a single box of the ammo brings more than 3 or 4 of the rifles do!
I wonder if the various .17 rimfires are going to go the same way, eventually...