I don't think you can consider profit made on the cost of a hardware unit, FLIR are a very well run company who have been in the game from the beginning and have been ruining complex government based contracts worldwide; from that you can summarise that when designing a product they will be extremely good at working out how they can sell the product to cover their development costs in the quickest time possible, including the hardware crippling of a product for it to appeal to a wider audience. We see this everywhere in manufacturing. In all reality its probably not the E8 owners getting ripped off, from what's on offer on the release date they probably got a well priced piece of equipment that covered all the capabilities they needed. Indeed the E4 is very well priced but without the hack, probably is price marked right and although the dealer margin may not be as big the volume probably makes up from that especially with accessories and future trade ups.
Mike's hack shifts the field of play slightly, how much and for how long is only known to FLIR and to a degree is in their control.
One thing is for sure, its done their business no damage, with the product thrown under the spotlight by a lot of very clever guys; not once have I seen a criticism of the company or its product. I for one would not hesitate to recommend the procurement of products from them in the future.