"Is $500 per box of 24 sticks too steep to pay? If you want genuine Havana Montecristos........"
Either that or know a Canadian who goes to Cuba on winter vacation
Canadians can buy genuine Havana cigars legally in their own country. I forget the name of the cigar shop, but they are a registered Casa del Havana dealer, and guarantee the authenticity of every box. They have a website (which of course I have also forgotten the name) but when I last visited three or four years ago a box of Montecristo #2 were $500 plus FedEx overnight shipping. How they successfuly get them through customs I'll never know. There are also registered Casa del Havana dealers in London, Amsterdam, and Zurich that will also ship to America, but their prices are higher.
I realize that there are a great many smugglers whose only business is to smuggle illegal cigars into the U.S.A. They are the source of the vast majority of counterfeit Havanas. Not the only source, but not to be trusted.