Doctor (Thaddeus) Venture, if you knew how much Netscreen/Juniper stuff costs, even compared to Cisco, you'd know you were right.
Juniper has a long heritage of using (highly) custom ASICS to do a variety of nominally software-based network tasks. Other than cost, it's a good solution to get superior speeds. The problems come in when you try to patch bugs, and realize that it's in the hardware.
It's been about 8 years since I touched their Netscreen equipment (I had to help a coworker set up VPNs for every site we had. He was in charge, I was just the dog's body), but about 14 months ago, I was price checking am MX5 router on ebay, and that thing was like $15,000 used, and the bids kept going higher and higher. I just price checked a QFX10008, and it's going for about $90,000, and even that seems a little low.
That's one reason I'm glad they made public trials of vMX and vQFX available, so we can at least play with it, and learn a few things. I just wish those buttheads would release updated versions more often. The version of vQFX (15.1X53) is really old, and the KVM file for the vRE is still busted. We have to export the file out of the Vagrant version. *harumph*
EDIT: And speaking of buttheads, why can't Alcatel/Nokia release a trial version of their SR-OS VM (or whatever they're running on their latest service router)? I have the old 13.0R.6 TiMOS VM, and it rebooting every 60 min isn't a problem (nor is only having 5 network interfaces). I've called their sales and educational departments repeatedly, to see what courses I would have to take, just to be given a recent version of that VM, and you'd think I just dropkicked their baby. There's zero chance of me running their virtualized SR-OS and compete with their new F4 or F5 ASIC, so why not help the folks who want to learn how to use their equipment? All they did, was grant me access to ancient 7750 manuals....