That's one of the biggest misconceptions for any potential MicroStrategy implementation.
Business now a days stack it against tableau,spotfire, SSIS,QlikView and other 'newer' tools (previously they used to compare against Cognos, BO,Actuate,SAS BI )..and all in all no one comes closer to return-on-investment when compared to MicroStrategy.
Yes, initial setup cost and resource cost may be higher than most but you will get most of what you will spend. And in most organizations MicroStrategy is rolled as an shared platform which ultimately reduces 'actual cost' for any new project using MicroStrategy as solution.
In other words, which BI platform will give you cube,mobile,clustering,scalability,object re-usability , detailed SDK with one of most power SQL engine ?