I just want to say that I, for one, have no problem with good breeders making some profit.
Not only this, but I would honestly have trouble trusting someone who is unable to turn a profit at some of the "reputable breeder" prices these days.
There are plenty of "what-ifs", but when you start talking averages (average litter size, average number of litters per bitch, average sale price of a puppy from a reputable breeder, average veterinary expenses, average stud fee, etc.), there should be ample room to turn a profit.
This does not include incidental expenses. Lifestyle choices don't count towards business expenses. For those resources which are used exclusively for business purposes, that's fair enough, and fortunately, they're tax-deductible.
It has been my experience that a lot of people who try to turn a passion into a pseudo-occupation are terrible at math, terrible at separating what is part of the business and what is personal, terrible at organization, and terrible at efficiency & time management. This describes almost all artists, and it's why they're always starving.
Part of being professional is knowing exactly where the books stand and what the "big picture" of the operation is. Part of being professional is not counting one-off expenses against every litter, but prorating across all of them, and that includes facilities & durable goods that should be usable almost indefinitely. Part of being professional includes time tracking, mileage logging, and differentiating business from personal. Part of being professional is treating all the dogs in a breeding operation well, like the focus of the operation and not like an expendable asset that is to be used-up & then discarded.
I wouldn't presume to ask how much profit a breeder might be making off puppy sales, but if the they exude professionalism, I'm more likely to trust their decisions regarding breeding choices. I don't want to give my money to someone who is driven by impulse & feelings, I want to support someone who is responsible and makes deliberate, well-reasoned decisions, because that sort of conduct is the sort of value I look for and trust to do well for me in the long run.
I want to have nothing to do with greeders who only have a profit motive, that almost always shows through unprofessionalism because they invariably cut corners to maximize profits, as seen with the Canis Maximus woman. Or, like Robin Luther's example of the traveling puppy salesman, selling puppies out the back of a station wagon, yikes! So no, I don't judge professionalism on profit alone, but the capacity to turn a profit (if so desired) is a component of it.
The purchase price of an animal is only the BEGINNING of the expenses, and money itself is only the least of the expenses; the emotional toll from the heartbreak of caring for a sick animal is hard to assign a price to.
As a result, I would absolutely NOT recommend someone who is unable to afford to buy from a decent breeder go to a rescue to save money, because they're more likely going to be paying far more for that dog over the years. The purchase price is an initial investment, and even though one might hope that the higher prices mean healthier dogs, it's not always the case and research into the other areas of professionalism and competence is most definitely still required.