I'm generally something of an early adopter. I haven't had a phone line or cable in over a decade, my floors have been vacuumed by a robot for years, and I often pay a premium for the newest Nexus devices. That said, there is no way I'd spend $800 for 1st gen VR. $600 isn't as unreasonable for a cutting edge product, but it's still more than I'm willing to pay.
As you point out, without the software, the hardware is useless. I have high hopes that there will be amazing software, but most of what I've seen looks more like a tech demo than useful or truly entertaining products.
I'm waiting to hear what Sony will bring to the VR table. They have talented in-house development teams, and they have a long history of designing and building quality consumer and professional electronics. With this background, and the PS4 to do much of the processing work, I'm hopeful that the Playstation VR will launch around the $300-400 range. At that price point, I'd be willing to jump on board and see where VR goes. This could be the beginning of a truly transformational technology...or it could be like the 3D TVs that you referenced. I'm not willing to place too large of a bet on it being transformation just yet, so $300-400 is as much as I would pay at this point.