Regardless of his motivation, I still think he produces stunning images. As far as his printing goes, it reminds me quite a bit of Eugene Smith. Smith printed rather dark in many of his best images and used the light (not just what is an illuminated highlight) as the key element in the image.
What I have always found interesting is that you can gloss past any number of images of war refugees or people in living in unbelievable poverty. We have seen so many they hardly register on our brains.. But Salgado somehow is able to present an image that has a certain beauty that the viewer cannot easily dismiss. I think that is the strength of his work.
As far as his books, I agree that they are priced out of my range. But just to make sure I don't add any filthy lucre to his pockets I will only buy one if it shows up at the used bookstore..