Immigrating to the US is expensive. The laws are complex, tricky and constantly evolving (this is without CIR!). In most cases, an alien should hire a qualified immigration lawyer to avoid making errors that could prove fatal to his or her immigration status and options while in the US. Immigration lawyers, like most professionals are not cheap. Having said that, the choice to hire a lawyer is still just that, a choice.
USCIS filing fees are not a choice however. More than in any area of government, it seems like the the CIS and Congress believe that most immigrants have money-growing trees in their yards. The CIS filing fees effective July 30, 2007 are arguably excessive but the percentage increase from the existing fees for most filings is objectively unreasonable.