Sugarcube isn't going to give you a real reason for why that is, Scene. He'd rather just take whatever you say and spin it to make Coldplay look good. If you're looking for a good, logical argument, it's not going to happen here.
Sugarcube, I'm curious about how the last 3 U2 CDs could be considered blatant grabs for hits much like Mylo and Viva are? Let's name the singles from the U2 CDs--or at least those that did well on the radio. Beautiful Day, Stuck, Vertigo, Boots. That's it. All the rest of the songs on each CD aren't radio-friendly songs. Compare that to the last 3-4 Coldplay CDs. Hmm, Talk, Fix You, Speed of Sound, Lovers in Japan, Viva, Paradise, Every Tear Drop and I'm sure at least a few others from Mylo that I'm neglecting to mention because I haven't touched that CD since the first few times I listened to it.
There's a reason why people make jokes about Coldplay: because the band has almost become a parody of itself. I remember when Rush first came out back in 2002. It was very well received by critics and the fans because it was one hell of a CD. People respected Coldplay back then because they were something different. Of course, there were those who called them U2-lite, but for the most part, they were highly regarded.
Then came X&Y and the ascend higher into the charts (and descent in terms of credibility and respect) began. It's sort of like what happened with Linkin Park. When they first came on the scene, people liked them. By 2007/2008 when they made the choice to record bland crap that got them more radio airplay, people began to dislike them. Same thing with Coldplay, except now they've picked up a few new fans (teenie boppers and those who think every artist on pop radio is "awesome.").
You're still not answering my question, Sugarcube: if Coldplay truly cares about their fans, why do they charge so much for tickets? I'm not even saying the Stubhub thing is their fault, although if there is any truth to the rumor that Ticketmaster gives Stubhub scalpers choice seats and gets a kickback for it, then it kind of is. My point is also, most fans prefer to have GA because it gives them the chance to see their favorite artist up close even if they can't afford to pay for floor seats (especially since the scalpers tend to snatch the closest seats up, so it becomes a $300-$400 ordeal just to get close to the stage).
As for Chris Martin being more of a "dreamboat" than Bono. Looks don't even factor into the equation for me. If they did, I wouldn't like half the artists I like. Bono's a decent looking guy now, and aside from his mullet/bad hair days in the 80s, he looked good in his younger days. But yes, I guess Martin is a "dreamboat" if you consider the awkward, short pink shirt wearing geek look to be attractive.
Also curious to see what Martin looks like in 20 years. Hopefully he ages well, unlike many rock stars.
One last thing: just because you can play 4-5 stadium gigs in the U.S., it doesn't mean you're capable of a full stadium tour of the U.S., as the Rolling Stones and U2 have done in the past. 4-5 gigs is not a full tour. So to say Coldplay could have a full stadium tour (20+ dates) in the U.S. is utterly false when they can't even sell out arenas or come close to it in many cities. If we considered 4-5 stadium gigs to be a full tour, people like Lady Gaga, One Direction or *insert pop artist here* would be "stadium" touring artists. But they're not because only a few bands are able to do a full blown stadium tour, and Coldplay isn't one of them.