"I would be very careful about coming to any conclusions about weapons that HA is using based upon IDF sources. The IDF has a natural desire to hype up HA’s weaponry as an excuse for their poor performance. It is unlikely, for example, that HA possesses many Kornets. Syria bought around 1,000 Kornets, but the chances they gave HA many of those Kornets is slim — they need the Kornets as a deterrent against Israeli armor for their own defense. Iran itself does not have Kornets in any great quantity (if at all), they are relying on their Sagger, Spandrel, and TOW clones, which they reverse-engineered or licensed and produce cheaply in their own factories. Iran is very careful about their arms purchases in order to get the best bang for the buck, and if they can make effective weapons locally (and the above-named are plenty effective if deployed in sufficient quantity and provided with upgraded warheads and guidance systems), they do not buy, they build.
I read a description of the Israeli attack upon Marjayoun by a Western reporter. He painted a picture of Merkavas slowly trudging along through a valley then suddenly HA appeared on the ridge lines surrounding them. As the Merkavas attempting to engage targets with their weaponry, HA missiles flew in from all sides. He saw a Merkava disabled, apparently by a missile that came from its hind quarter, which even on a Merkava is weaker than the frontal armor. The Merkava caught on fire, and its crew bailed and ran for shelter at another Merkava as the line of Merkavas started pumping out smoke everywhere to fend off further attacks.
I do not think possession of a Kornet (or not) would have made much of a difference in that situation. If HA is successfully drawing Israeli armor into kill boxes, you will see tanks killed, period, even if all HA had were the upgraded Saggers that I referred to earlier. It simply is impossible to armor a tank equally over its whole body, the tank would be so heavy as to be immobile. A tank will always have weak points, and if you can get tanks into a kill box like described above, you will have tanks getting killed.
As for what the Iranian Saggers, Spandrels and TOW’s cost to build, vs. a Merkava, think maybe $5,000 apiece, max, for the missiles if you have free labor (as Iran effectively does). A Merkava costs approximately $4.4 million dollars (or about the same as a M1A1). However, the Merkavas thus far disabled by HA have mostly not been cooked off, thus are salvageable and repairable. Merkavas are designed to be easy to repair, so it is likely that most of those "killed" by HA will go back into combat sooner or later.
In any event, as Pat has noted earlier, pay little attention to the technology that HA is using. It is not the technology that is making them effective. It is their training and dedication that are making them effective. And for that matter, Israeli incompetence — it is not so much that HA is fighting like supermen (they have obviously studied their art and are executing it, but if they were really the supermen they’ve been accounted to be, Israeli casualties would be much higher), as it is that the IDF is fighting extremely poorly. Tankers, for example, should never allow themselves to get into enclosed kill boxes where the enemy can fire down onto their less-armored top and rear parts. The fact that IDF tanks have managed to put themselves into exactly that position is a sign of incompetence on their part, rather than super-human competence on HA’s part. HA is just doing Warfighting 101. The IDF is doing… well, poorly."
"Bad Tux" is the "handle" of a frequent commenter on SST 2006. This is an informed analysis of IDF performance thus far.
BT is correct in observing that the IDF has not fought well in Lebanon so far. Tank/infantry coordination has been poor and the state of training and equipment of reserve units is not impressive.