I think you're on to something here. We definitely have players who play here simply BECAUSE we don't limit awp (I'm one of them), but there are lots of servers that limit awp for those who hate the awp to choose from. Limiting it is likely to cost us players, not gain them.
Why do you think they set the price of the para so high? Why does an auto shotty cost more than an AK? Is it a better, more powerful gun? My guess is that Valve set the prices high on snipers so one team could save and buy them and have an advantage over a team who doesn't have the money to buy one. Since we all have $16k, this isn't the case, as anyone can buy one that wants to. 16k also allows two flashes and a smoke per person every rnd, thus neutralizing awps if players play smart.