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Metal Halide bulbs cost vs. spectrum

     Went in yesterday to get one of my ballasts repaired; a capacitor had 
     gone. Our local liquidator (Always Lighting) was good enough to do the 
     repair on warranty even though the system is close to 2 years old. I 
     figure that's worth a plug. (pun intended) ;-)
     I inquired about replacement 5500K bulbs only to learn that the cost 
     is now about $75 Cdn. After haggling, I could get the price to $65 ea. 
     for a quantity of four but with tax that's still around $300 cash 
     outlay. Ouch! The common 4500K bulbs are still available for about 
     $30. The liquidator used to sell the 5500K bulbs for $25 but no more; 
     their excuse was they were actually unintentionally selling below cost 
     previously. I couldn't see how they could be unaware of the price of 
     the item since it was a specialty item and had to be gotten into stock 
     as ordered so how could they fail to notice the price?
     Is this a competitive price for the high spectrum bulbs?
     Is it worth the expense to use the 5500Ks?
     Steve P in Vancouver