I don't think the keyboard is noisy. It's definitely quieter than, say, the keys on the Lenovo ThinkPads that so many businesses deploy. The newest TouchCover offers good key travel, though it's hard to speed-type quite as well as you might on a premium clamshell. It also offers excellent responsiveness-- a good product, I'd say.
As for price, though... I find Microsoft's "we want to let the user choose the keyboard color" stuff to be a weak excuse for selling the keyboard separately, and for skirting the issue of its price. On its website, Microsoft could easily bundle keyboards while allowing users to choose their own color. Yes, that could represent a lot of SKUs, but it doesn't mean the buyer interface needs to be impossibly convoluted. We're talking about one of the most powerful software companies on the planet-- if they can't figure out how to set up a web interface that accommodates this, I'd be surprised. As for retail stores, they could keep some inventory on hand, and if they don't have the color the consumer wants, it can be ordered. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think a consumer would be happy to wait a few days for the desired keyboard if it meant saving some cash.