Interesting. I can understand buying the real deal for certain items if they are indeed cheaper, but I'm finding it hard to believe that Eagle Industries Nylon gear, for example, is somehow less expensive than many other alternatives for the sport.
I'm figuring your typical "load out" isn't going to weigh anywhere near what a real load out would and thus the necessity for world class nylon would be a little overkill.
As far as airsoft goes, I'm really not that familiar with it. Sure, I see the AS replicas at gunshows and other places from time-to-time, and while some of the weapons I've seen are pretty close to the real thing, most I've seen don't even come close. Perhaps you folks have access to much higher quality replicas than I've seen.
As far as prices go, $600 is pretty steep indeed. Heck, my first Sig P226 didn't cost much more than that (many years ago) and Glocks w/ Trijicon are typically less than that currently.
As for me, I don't own any AS, but I do believe that the sport could provide an excellent source of exercise if conducted properly. Down here, paint ball games are very popular, though I've not participated in those either. I've had to settle for training w/ simunitions for work, quarterly qualifications through work and instruction from Gunsite in Paulden Arizona many years ago.
But I'm thinking that either or both Airsoft and Paintball would provide beneficial additional training.
This is such a foreign concept to me (No guns). For example (not to brag) my inventory over the years has included:
1 - Sig P220 (.45ACP)
1 - Smith & Wesson 15 (.38 Special)
1 - Smith & Wesson 28 (.357 magnum)
1 - Wilson CQB .45ACP
1 - Les Baer Super Tac II (.45ACP)
1 - Les Baer SRP (.45ACP)
1 - Colt Combat Gov't. (.45ACP)
1 - Glock 23 (.40S&W)
2 - Colt 6721 M4 carbines (w/ 16" HB)
1 - Polytech Legend underfolder (7.62x39)
2 - Winchester 94 (.30-30)
1 - Winchester 70 (.30-06)
1 - Winchester 97 (12 Gauge)
1 - Winchester 12 (12 Gauge)
1 - Remington 11-87P (12 Gauge)
1 - Remington 870P (12 Gauge)
2 - Remington 760 (.30-06)
1 - Old .36 cal Kentucky long rifle (handed down through the generations)
Also, around five or six more handguns and rifles, like .22 plinkers of which I don't recall the brand / models. Now I wonder, are any of these legal in Canada???
Frankly, among many people I know, I really haven't owned that many firearms relative to their current / historical collections.
Far be it for me to dictate what Canada ought to do, but I find it a disgrace that the government doesn't trust its own citizens with a means to protect themselves and an honest sport that many can enjoy with the proper amount of training.