We have been wondering about why Amazon costs "as much" as it does and would like some views on this topic.
At the moment we use Amazon to host our service, but our cost for traffic is becoming pretty high and we have looked at other providers.
With a small instance on Amazon EU (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2) it costs $68.4/month for a small with 1.7GB ram and something similar to a dual core.
At a German provider, Hetzner, you can get a dedicated machine (http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produkte_rootserver/x4) with 4GB RAM and a dual core. This cost €49 = $69/month. Included in the price is free traffic* (if you use more than 5TB your 100mbit connetion goes down to 10mbit, but you don't pay extra).
We've thought long and hard but don't really know why Amazon charges so much.
It could be that their uptime/stability is high, but... We've talked to others who use Hetzner and they are very satisfied with it, and have great uptime. The computer we tested with was a lot faster than even a large instance on Amazon (which would cost $271/month)
It could be that their throughput is high/latency is low, but... We tested and compared Hetzner (Germany) to Amazon (Ireland). The result was that no matter where in the world we tested with we got the same latency and throughput.
The main difference we do notice is S3, which is super freaking awesome. Amazon of course have a lot of other services, but none that we really use - not even EBS.