Do you have sales figures on 8 strings? Do they even get published? It'd be nice to see if your assumption is correct or if it is just that, an assumption.
I do not. However, when I hear things like “I need to mark those down...again” from the person responsible for them, I’ll admit I am making an assumption. Also, recent Jemsite threads talk about 8 strings from which assumptions can be drawn.
They will cost money but on Reverb there is a used RG2228GK with some paint chips for under $600. I received my RG2228GK in a trade the year after they were released. If I recall correctly, they were not cheap at that time. (200
I am not sure what qualifies as NOS or if it matters but dealers love to get rid of stuff that sits, especially for years on end.
As for pickups, I put EMG 808x’s in my guitar because I took a chance. The other pickups available were EMG 808’s which were what I was replacing. There are more options now.
Strings were a problem for years and no one knows why. SSO actually helped figure out proper string tensions. We bought strings from a guy who made them in Seattle (I think) packaged as singles. D’Addario took 9 years to work out a pack that worked. Better late than never,
Now that everything is sorted out, people don’t want them quite like before. Just a PSA. If you find sales numbers, that would be interesting.