Why are Macbooks Pros more expensive than Airs?

The new wave of Windows 8 ultrabooks and hybrids and convertibles brought with it a strange new paradigm: A world where Apple's laptops seemed, in price, cheap. Stuff like the Dell XPS 12, Lenovo Ideapad Yoga and Asus Taichi seem like really great ideas, but the cost is really a huge step up from previous Windows notebooks. Now, adding 'ultrabook' to any laptop's name seems like an adequate excuse for a manufacturer to raise prices. And it's not like they are all as thin and portable as the inspiration for the term ultrabook, the Macbook Air.

But these prices caused a weird realization: Windows ultrabooks match the Air's price by increasing prices from thicker, high performance models. I'm not talking quad-core Ivy Bridge models, but your average 13-14 inch midsize laptop with a good ole HDD and ODD combo. And that got me thinking, why the hell is the Macbook Pro more expensive than the Air. I mean sure, the baseline models cost the same, but when you see the benchmarks, the higher clocked CPU makes little or no difference due to the slower HDD. Plus, it's screen is worse (at least in terms of resolution), it's nowhere near as light and portable, and it doesn't even pack discrete graphics. On the other hand, comparably spec-ed notebooks from the same brands which make the ultrabooks - Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus and the like - cost well under a thousand, sometimes even costing around $500 lesser than the exactly same spec-ed Macbook Pro.

I really fail to understand the reason for this.

P.S. This is not a troll post, and I don't question the premium quality of Mac hardware and software, but as a student who needs to make a choice for a laptop to last for a good 3 to 4 years, I feel that I should factor in all details, especially the cost and the value for money And, importantly, I want to know if I can save those 500 bucks, since I really want an iPad!

The reason I've made this post is that now The Verge doesn't review the 'ordinary' Macbook Pro, but only the Retina versions. I know that a review could be underway as you read, but the laptop's been out for about a half-year now. And since they use numbers to rate stuff, I can eliminate factors not important to me, and I trust them to give unbiased reviews (unlike a certain MG Siegler or Cnet), so I need opinions from owners of either or both.