I think a lot of people are missing the OP's point. If you don't feel like you're getting a good (or even a fair) value, then that takes some of the enjoyment out of the event. Since beer is a social beverage, getting ripped off for a decent beer is kind of like being forced to bring along your annoying brother-in-law as your wing man.
So you either vote with your feet, or you suck it up and pay it. Depends on how bad you want the beer and how inconvenienced you want to be. As someone who usually has a couple hundred gallons of homebrew around at any given moment, it galls me to pay for *any* commercial beer. I'll do it to be social, but I try to forget about the economics of it.
I'll tell you what really hurt. The exchange rate in Australia. The US and AU dollars are about even now, so I was seeing $9-11 pints in most places. Decent beers, but not worth 2x what I'd normally be paying. If I were an Aussie, I'd be living over here now. It would be like Christmas every day.
So make your own beer and get people to swing by your place. If they are used to paying through the nose, you'll really look like a hero.