I have to agree with LJM. Every Christmas gift swap situation I've been in has always been more about the game than getting gifts. Until I was on this board, I'd never heard adults complain about what gift they got and whether it was worth the same as what they gave.
It sounds like there's some confusion about the purposes of these traditions. I, personally, prefer the idea of a game with cheaper gifts. I've definitely received expensive gifts that I didn't like, so I'm not sure how specifying a price range ensures that people get something they appreciate.