Max, come on, ~$1.00 is $0.10 per connection point; even $2.50 for 10 pos is $0.25/point -- a reasonable price if the quality is good.
To get cheaper, I'd say look at going to 2.5mm for the TB (probably cheaper to go with more positions) and look at Phoenix's building oriented stuff (the various PTxx lines) -- in fact, I'd recommend ordering (or begging for samples) a few to see how you like them (for example, the $1.07 PTSA 0,5/10-2,5-F is spring clamp)
It's worth paying a bit more for something if you like it better.
@antedeluvian: You could use 2 rows of 0.2" spacing connectors one set back behind the other and offset by 0.1" (with 45 degree input angle). I could help you source those!
But then we'd have to re-spin the board -- I can make do with just one of these shelds for my current project (although I would build a bunch if we can get these connectors cheaply enough) ... but thinks for the offer.