I wouldn’t necessarily take issue with the over-inflated part (but thats the nature and mechanism of a free market, ‘best’ doesn’t have a value, but ‘best perceived’ is priceless).
On the second part, I’m afraid I’m diametrically opposed to the ‘no rules, let it rip’ philosophy. In my opinion, that road leads to, for want of a better phrase, a race to the bottom, where quality and tradition becomes sacrificed to fad and fashion.
Interestingly, the bete noire of the Loire, Didier Dagueneau, a man dedicated to risk taking, boundary pushing and standard raising, was all in favour of said Appellation ‘rules’, actually being in favour of tightening them ever further. His reasoning in a nutshell being that without them it would be far too easy for the unscrupulous to trade on the reputation of other more fastidious and conscientious producers.
From a consumers point of view, a slower-moving behemoth like an appellation gives me more surity, in that major change (good, but more importantly, bad) takes time for it to work through the system, and so gives me a heads up of whats coming down the pipeline, and therefore a
better informed risk of the product I’m buying.