I say this is a good move. If GM starts with bargain pricing, they set bargain expectations.
They're building these cars in such tiny numbers, and it's such a small leap technologically (from C5 and Northstar), that I expect they'll deliver assembly and parts quality on par with their heady competition.
As for the opening comparison -- the XK8 is quite long in the tooth, and the SC430 took some criticism when it was released for a less-than-stellar chassis. XLR would have to suck to do worse than second place. And who knows, if they're in striking distance maybe they can take the win on performance -- or at least cement a positive reputation as the athelete of the bunch.
Small leap in technology? I dont believe this is true, what the XLR is, is very advanced. Its based on the new Corvette C6 Platform, it has an advanced local area network of computers throughout the vehicle, a transmission with a special meter that recognizes geforces between corners and upshifts for more speed to make it just like a manual. An almost completely re-designed Northstar V8 with VVT... etc. ( i could go on and on) This is a piece of technological artwork, and GM better hope they not only compete with the Benz's and Jag's but hope they sell as well.