In case you don't know who owns K2 and Ride (as well as many others) here you go: Jarden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My point is that most of the players in the boot market right now started in other industries and saw oppurtunity to cash in on the snowboarding bandwagon. Nike has just as much right to make snowboard products as any company that makes boat shoes, skate shoes, jars or any other damned thing for that matter. And yes the boots will last 100+ days. Too many of my friends have gotten that many days of serious riding for me to think anything else.
As far as laces on a four hundred dollar boot goes, yes please. I've ridden about every different take on alternative lacing devices and still stand firm that laces are the best. Some of the current crop of full lace boots with boa in the heels such as the Vans Reverb and the DC Kush are pretty promising though. Too bad Boa changes their dials every couple years and somehow manages to make each generation less user friendly from a repair aspect. So for me laces are still the superior option and I would demand it of a $400 dollar boot.