Asking a value price the way you did is silly. Let's go back to the $1200 Mizuno's. Are they inferior to the $3200 set of PXG's? Are the Mizunos a better value? The funniest part of your argument is that PXG aren't even CLOSE to the best value for irons in the same 3K and up price range..
I have hit them, bottom of the bag to the top for an extended period of time. They are extraordinarily forgiving and provide extra distance in a nice compact head. They feel different than any club I've hit.
but, first off, most pros get paid to use what they use. secondly, pros do not need the forgiveness or extra distance. and even the PXG tour head is a bit big for what they prefer.
but, you're just not understanding the difference between worth it and value. and, they're not targeting the value shopper. They are worth in the same way that Prov1 golf balls are worth it in comparison to Callaway supersofts. They are double the money, but they are definitely not twice as good. especially to a golfer that has an unpredictable ball flight. But, they are better. so if you've got the cash, why not?
With my game every course qualifies as "tough".
Of course I'd play a tough course from the appropriate tees.
It's easy for me to feel ok about shooting a higher-than-normal score at a tough course, just as it's easy to properly evaluate shooting a lower-than-normal score on a course without any teeth.
Even though I may not feel this way, I understand your friend's point of view. Golf means different things to different folks.