If we're going to make equal comparisons, let's also factor in that the PS3 can play BDs while the Xbox360 can not w/o the HD-DVD. Also take into account that the Xbox360 can't play all of the XBox games (or even half of them) while the PS3 can play almost all of the PS2 and PS1 games (in addition to upscaling PS1 and lowres PS2 games to at least 480i over HDMI for the cleanest fucking image PS1 games you'll ever get).
So Xbox360 Elite + HD-DVD (w/ free King Kong) = $680 vs PS3 (w/ free Motorsport) for $600. That's before tax, which depending on where you buy from will mean quite a bit.
It boils down to what you want to play. If you want to play PS3 games, watch BD movies, and replace both your PS2 and PS1 (especially since the PS3 can play games that the PS2 couldn't, such as Tomba), then the PS3 is an obvious decision.
If you want to play Xbox360 games, watch HD-DVDs, and a selection of Xbox games, then the 360 is obviously a better choice. Keep in mind that the higher-than-normal failure rates of the 360 also mean that you're going to go at least two weeks without your system at some point (and possibly multiple times), but at least it's covered. Either way, the 360 has had time to build up a pretty decent library and there's plenty of stuff to pick up new and used for under $25 these days.
The 360 has the piracy advantage since it supports HD-WMV. Pirates rip BD and HD-DVDs, encode them in HD-WMV, and release them on single and dual layer discs at 720p (single) and 1080p (dual), so if you're into movie piracy then a stock 360 will treat you right. On the other hand, the PS3 has better media streaming capabilities and works better with other forms of video. It may cater better to people who want to upgrade from their soft modded Xbox to watch their pirated anime and tv shows on a newer console.
You also have to factor in online services and what you expect from them. If you just want some simple online mulitplayer then the PS3's online capabilities are just peachy (and free), while the 360's are far more robust and better developed (though cost $$). Then there's the region coding, which the PS3 doesn't have for PS3 games (or demos! Have fun downloading the Hot Shots Golf 5 demo from the japanese store) while the 360 still has. Not like it much matters, because the only Xbox360 import worth getting right now that hasn't already been announced or released for US is Tetris Grand Master Ace (Fucking nazis).
tl;dr 1 - Neither is a rip off. Depending on what you're picking 'em up for, both are a great value.
tl;dr 2 - Oh look, Vamp is ripping on a Sony product again! Surprise surprise!