You need to re-fluff the topper everytime you change the sheets. Just roll it up, un roll and give it a good shake, other wise over time the horsehair compresses.
Same goes for the matress itself, rotate end to end every 6-8 months and when you are changing the sheets and have the topper off, walk on the bed (or get your kids to jump on it). Unless you are VERY enthusiastic in bed, the wool and horsehair will compress a little where each of you sleep. It goes right back to the old position with some jumping though.
As for price, we didn't pay anywhere near retail. I think it's like cars and watches. There is the retail ask and the reality. They had our bed in stock (not on the floor, it was brand new) but in a beige/grey and white check instead of the iconic blue and white. Harder to sell and sitting in inventory. We saved about $4,500 off list and got two of the down pillows (with inserts for under your neck and highly reccomended) and a pair of down booties for my wife.
The weight of the bed is a pain and we'll have to remove that widow again to get it out when we move (or put a juliet balcony in the bedroom...) but it's worth it. To me anyways. You spend hours every day in bed, between that and your office chair that's a lot of your day. Splurge a little.