That’s a good question with an answer that’s obviously relative to the material you’re processing. To determine “value” is relative to what is most “valuable” with YOUR project. What you value or should place as a priority would be the operational expense of the machine, the total cost of purchasing it, the overall cut quality and cut precision and then finally the rate of production.  In fact more affordable options out there have great feedback and are affordable.  See this laser cutter company reviews as an example.

These are key factors to add into any equation and based on those you can determine whether a CNC, laser cutter, or both will work best for you.  I can tell you from experience the most expensive laser cutters from brands like Epilog, Trotec, Universal may or may not offer you the best value…especially if you need to cut materials over 1/4″.  The higher end machines spend a lot of cost on the laser power so if you want to cut material the price can get expensive.