@Rob, the blog post here explains the story behind the OSPi enclosure:
Long story short, we use the same enclosure for OS, OSPi and OSBo. In fact, figuring out that I can fit OSPi inside the OS enclosure is pretty much the primary reason I started designing OSPi. As you may or may not know, making a new injection mold is very expensive — including the design fee, it’s easily reaching 10K. At the volume we are selling, it doesn’t justify making a new enclosure for OSPi. I was actually glad that I didn’t go down that path initially — because RPi has so many different versions, it would be difficult to design one enclosure that fits all of them. For example, if I had paid 10K to make an enclosure for the old model A/B, it would be useless for the current A+/B+/RPi 2. So while $77 is a not cheap, as you can imagine, if we had designed a new enclosure, it would be quite a bit more expensive.
Since people don’t look at a sprinkler controller on a day to day basis (unlike a thermostat), I figured that aesthetics is perhaps not that important. Especially since it’s a web-based sprinkler controller, hopefully you just need to access it remotely and don’t have to access it physically.
While $77 is not cheap, as a business we have to make sufficient profit to keep going. Also, I think you would agree there is no other competing product on the market that’s close to this price range. Most web-based sprinkler controllers are well above $200, closed-source, and often don’t provide as much flexibility / programming features. Again, we are not mass producing OSPi, so it’s not easy to get the cost down. I also don’t think it will become a high volume product — it’s mainly designed for makers, tinkers, RPi enthusiasts, and it’s not oriented to the mass market. Sorry about being wordy, but I am just explaining the rationale behind the price tag.
The microcontroller-based OpenSprinkler is the one that’s targeted to the mass market — it’s all fully assembled, with LCD and buttons, and the enclosure is specially designed for it. That being said, as described in the post above, I am working on a new version of OSPi specially tailored to RPi A+, which is likely the first OSPi that has LCD and buttons and fits perfectly inside the OS enclosure.