(is that an Evil Genius avatar?)
Very happy you're enjoying the game! Right now we don't worry about balance too much, and prices change build to build. Right now, every should pay for itself in 18-24 months, if played perfectly (like the real world, ish). Later on, you'll be able to add modules to factories, to work faster (more pollution and upkeep), so you can balance out the pipeline. Something important to know is that complex recipes (brandy, paint) pay A LOT more than the simple ones (barrels, bottles)
Just keep playing, you'll get better!