If you head over to the Wall Street Journal, wsj.com, there's an informative August 3, 2011 article called "The Muddy Roots of Fine Linen" that switches back and forth between high fashion linen cloth and flax as a crop. The article reports that the price of cotton, which doubled last year, has gone back to the previous price for this harvest.
Speaking of linen, I recently used a ratty linen tea towel to wipe window cleaner off of a couple of windows. I will in the future only use linen cloth to clean windows whenever I possibly can. Worked so well. Glad I "wasted" linen on the glass instead of hunting for the old cotton cloths I usually use.
This spring and summer, my love of linen cloth led me to accumulate a pile of linen clothes from jumble sales and thrift shops. I plan to cut them up and sew some useful things, eventually.