I don't see what intellectualism or pseudo intellectualism has to do with it.
The fact is that film scanning is a very tricky, labor-intensive process even with the best equipment without a lot of profit potential on it. So, I'm afraid for the price you paid you can't really expect much of anything. The numbers you give works out to be about fifty cents a scan, which is only going to buy you fully automated scanning and probably not on the best possible scanner.
I never owned anything near the best hardware, but for a time I was regularly scanning negs and a few slides with an Epson 4870. I invested a little extra cash for anti-newtonian glass inserts to hold my film flat and a different holder for medium format. I could have gone deeper than I went, but I was quite pleased with my results. Learning how to deal with the scanning software and how to take more care physically with the film improved my scans by light years. Slides always remained a little troublesome, but I had great results with B&W and color negs a few favorite chromes as well.
I really miss working with film and my home setup.