I've shown a few times at a barn with the recycled carpet mix, which I think is what you're talking about JDI. It's VERY expensive! But the footing is GREAT! It dries out well after a good rain, doesn't get dusty, and most importantly doesn't get deep, even after a long day of showing. If the facility has the money it'd be worth it!
I don't think $20,000 is too excessive for a professional. I think Ovations, Collegiates, Pessoas, etc are great for the price and if you're on a budget, go for it. But if you're going to ride 7+ horses a day, show at the top shows every weekend? You need something that's higher quality and quality often comes at a price. I'm all about finding a good deal and I don't spend excessively, but I ride too many horses to deal with cheap quality. I can't stand stuff that falls apart after a few months. I'm willing to pay a bit more and get something that lasts.
Also remember that most big name riders/barns that show extensively on a national circuit get endorsed by companies. I know several riders who are sponsored by Devoucoux, Antares, Hermes, etc. I'm pretty sure Robert Dover isn't sitting around on the computer waiting for an auction on Ebay to close on a saddle... :)