I don't have an electronic die cutting machine, and don't plan on getting one, so I won't speak to the price aspect vs. manual die cutting.
I do have the thought that manual die cutting machines, and the dies that go with them will continue to be popular with many crafters like myself.
I am a "hands on" person which is why I took up stamping and cardmaking in the first place. I like the process of making something, almost as well as the finished product. The notion of getting on my computer and pressing a button and watching a machine cut something out is not terribly appealing to me. That's why I haven't bought a Cricut either.
I'm not making a judgment about folks who feel differently, just saying that it's not for me. I feel much the same way about digital stamps - I really enjoy the process of inking up a stamp and stamping the image, and then coloring it, too. I also like to sew and crochet.
I get kind of tickled when I hear people talk about "how much time somthing saves." Goodness knows I didn't take up this hobby of making cards to save time, lol.