That Nigel Dean looks like its been in a timewarp..
Great thread. I hope to add my frame to the discussion when I get it refinished.
Interestingly, I think American brands of steel frames had an inherent rarity factor in the UK, coupled with clever marketing kudos (ie journalists) they commanded a higher price tag. No doubt UK builders ran with the geometry & sizing, but it was indutry standard accross all the Big brands mass-producing in Taiwan anyhow.
I can tell you that in my neck of the woods at the time, once your salsa and bonty stock was gone, customers had to join the que. And they did, they waited and waited, then the whole cycle started all over again.
When the first Rock lobsters were imported and before the deal with u.k based Merlin cycles, we were selling these frames before we got them, sold as it was similar to a bontrager in many ways, but less expensive.
I cant say i ever noticed a considerable difference in the retail price points between English and American Handbuilt frames, perhaps a marginal tarriff for the import cost, but they were or at least seemed more readily availiable to be fair.