Interesting Oldmacs, that’s a nice summary.
We have the 2017 9.7" iPad and the 10.5" iPad Pro. The iPad Pro was bought as an upgrade for my wife who handed down the 2017 iPad to my son for school (and his old iPad Mini 2 to my youngest).
My wife does say hers is prettier and looking side by side you can see the differences in the screen. She also says it’s faster (although she is comparing the difference between an A9 and an A10X). She’s also commented on how much better the finger print scanner is and of course she loves her pencil too.
You’re right on that price hike, something I don’t know if I could really justify. In many respects it would make far far more sense if Apple were to release/upgrade the iPad and iPad Pro at the same time ensuring there was a more clear distinction between the two product lines rather than this sort of half step that exists at the moment.