In the past weeks I was looking for a stepper motor control board to build a hobby CNC foam cutter. I was surprised about the prices !! Since I'm a programmer and I know almost nothing about specialized hardware like motion control boards, I'm wondering why such boards are so expensive. I was looking for a 4 axis stepper control board to be connected to a parallel (or serial) port but I didn't find anything below 600-700 US$. So the question is: why are commercial boards so expensive ? May be that the target market of boards manufacturers is the high end one, and the hobby market is not worth the efforts to develop a cheap board ?