Am I missing something here? There's a lot of talk about price, but it's nothing like the price of the last Nexuses (ignoring Nexus One). I also don't think comparing the $700 64GB's Nexus 6 price to Apple's $750 64GB iPhone 6 price or even $850 64GB iPhone 6+ is a fair comparison when talking about how "cheap" it is compared to the competition.
Perhaps I'm a bit lost but comparison of "flagship" Google/Apple phones would look more like this:
Nexus 5 (last year's model): $350 (if you can find it)
Nexus 6: $650
iPhone 6: $650
iPhone 6+: $750
And just to be clear a "really good phone" can be had for $400-ish in the OnePlus One. A "good enough" phone can be had for $200-ish in the Moto G. Want a different vendor's "flagship"?
Samsung Galaxy S5: $500(-ish)
If you're going to compare pricing, please be clear about what you're comparing.
Further, the Nexus line changed my expectation for my investment in a phone. I do NOT want to double the price of my phone (pushing it into laptop pricing territory) for a marginal performance increase. Further, even if I'd drunk the Apple Kool-Aid (disclosure: I too hate phablets, and until the iPhone 6, I at least thought Apple had good design sense), I'd only be looking at the entry level models. To me, all my data lives online, so I only need enough space for my apps and what I might want on a given plane ride.
Note for the author: I hope our shared preference for non-phablets manifests itself in a course correction on the smartphone trajectory. I need something discreet, not a laptop replacement.