I paid $19 for a second Apple brand cord. I don't feel terribly ripped off. It's the first cord I've had to buy in probably a decade. One for my nightstand and one for work/car/travel.
If I had bought a micro-USB phone, I'd still have had to buy a cord (probably $1.99 from China, but still). I surprisingly enough, don't own a lot of micro-USB devices and therefore don't have a ton of cords laying in wait. I have 30 pin connectors still in my drawer from the early-ish iPod days.
Side note: Either my old phone was slow, or the new cord is somehow faster. My phones transfer data at wildly different speeds, which surprised me.