FYI, after several emails back and forth with an independent publisher, I've come to realize that the cost of the print book will be fine. After all, it is the MSRP (manufacturer's suggest retail price) which means it isn't necessarily the price they'll charge in the store.
Which makes me feel better. A lot better. Better enough to say that if my manuscript is accepted by this particular publisher, then I will be a VERY happy camper and I'll share my experience with you here. As well as let you know when the big publishing day will be, etc.
This would be a great time for some artwork to be finished. Really.