I believe that when the PS2 first came out, the cards were $35, and now you can often find them on sale for $20
Yeah you may be right, I'm an old man having a hard time remembering yesterday let alone 5 years ago.
I know they've been stuck at $24.99 (the official retail price) for ages now, sometimes Target and other stores have a weekly sale for $19.99 but then they go right back up again.
I'm definitely in the neutral zone for xbox vs ps2, but one thing that I liked so much more about my xbox was that you didn't ever need to worry about memory cards or having enough space. It's all there built in the box. You take a ps2 at $150 and buy 2 memory cards (assuming you want to play online or build up a sports collection) you're looking at about $200.. another $100 will get you the xbox 360 core version, which IMO, is the future.
Or in reality if you really want to invest in the playstation in coming months, maybe it's best to hold off until the ps3 comes out, considering it'll have complete backwards compatiblity? You can pick up any of the "must have" games now if you find them at the right price and just hold on to them until the ps3 comes out. I've held on to a couple of ps2 games (even though I traded my ps2 in and now my only console is the 360) just in case I do get a ps3.
Then again, maybe in the coming months Sony will drop the ps2 price to an affordable $99? I'd probably buy one just for that as well.