I see this bike as more of competition for BMWs RT than the VFR or Sprint (both of which I've owned) as the BMW St is for someone considering a BMW RT but wanting something a little lighter and sportier. IE if rideing across america, and its big highways get the RT , crossing Europe , ST is your ticket.
The VFR and Sprint are more for keeping up with your sport bike friends and having some hard luggage along while you do it. With no shaft drive and cramped ergonomics for those over 5'10" a Sprint or VFR is not a serious long range tourer , probably the rational behind Honda coming out with the VFR1200.
the VFR and Sprint are not great two up on any ride over an hour , where as the BMW is something you could take your pillion friend on for weeks abroad.
New the BMW St was expensive , but used its 2K cheaper than an RT or a VFR. I paid 3900 pounds for mine with 25K on it , ABS panniers heated grips and every option . Bargin as VFRs and Sprints go for more than that.
and the BMW is much much better built than either of those.