Zvonimir Tosic: The Nikon F with Nikkor 50 mm f/2 lens had a list price of US$ 359.50 in 1959. Let's say it was the best deal for money. SSA says US national average wage was $3,856 then. That means, an average person had to spend 1.12 months working to get one Nikon F with a kit lens in 1959.SSA says US national average wage for 2010 is 41,674. To keep the same value in the estimation of what we had to work for then, a 2010 equivalent camera and lens kit should cost around $3900.
Similarly, nobody can afford for the Ford Model T with the nowadays salary. But, think more, how many people bought Ford Model T or Nikon F at the time in the past and how many go for $4K kit nowadays? Technology and mass production make cheaper goods. You may spend $100 for the Nikon F kit now on Ebay and see how much different that a $4K set like 5D2 + 70-200mm 2.8 IS can make in comparison to Nikon F.