[This general discussion was split from this thread on the LA board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40047... - The Chowhound Team]
Comes down to the demand the Japanese have created and our curiosity of the mystique in searching it out in any form (American Wagyu or Japanese Kobe).
I'm sure the Japanese grading of Kobe beef is no different than their grading of blue fin tuna where top dollar rules. Whatever you find in a restaurant or at a market isn't going to come close to what we perceive it should be like. You definitely won't find it in a market or butcher shop...the really good stuff commands top dollar like russkar says and probably the majority of it stays in Japan.
Friend of mine who goes to Japan told me he had it there about 10 years ago and said it was so amazingly rich that for a big eater like him a 6 oz steak was enough for him to handle.