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Are the Festool HEPA vac's worth the money?
Yes if you can afford it.
Alex - Where do you guys come from? You obviously know next to nothing about what we are talking about, yet you post anyway.
For the uninitiated, high velocity air movement is best with small diameter hoses. The better hoses will have little or no corrugations on the inside so as to negatively affect the dust velocity.
Try talking next to a Festool while it is running, then the same with those crappy vacuums you discuss. No contest. It is about bearings, components, and long life vs disposability.
The two Festools in my shop are close to 20 years old. And quiet.