That is because Jeep was trying to match the base price of a Ford. You can buy one like that (suspect was mainly sold for fleet sales) but any real option (like the towing package) also requires the "E".
That said it was possible earlier this year to buy a well equipped Laredo (Uconnect, "E", towing) with an "out the door" including TTT for under $30k. For under a grand you can add Katzkins & the passeger can slide their own seat.
IMNSHO any modern car needs the Uconnect for handsfree telephony and the fobic to toss to a parking valet. Autounlock is nice also.
Do think audio alone or even audio with sat-nav is archaic, unless it can do 3G/4G the 130 is fine.
When I was first building my Jeep on the web I found out real fast that if you want any kind of extra option then the E package is required. I agree $2000 is a rip off for the few extras you are getting but that is how they make their money. I don't know what rebates are out there right now but I was able to get my Laredo 4x4 with the E package, sunroof, and off road package for under $31000. The blue tooth is great but most people complain about not being able to hear me clearly. Don't know if is the jeeps microphone or a crappy connection to my nearly 5 year old Motorolla phone ( I know, time to upgrade).
I have the base 4x2 Laredo with the Blue Tooth option which includes a one year subscription to Sirius radio. The base has manual seats. I wanted electric seats but couldn't find one nearby. The Laredo is nicely equipped in the base trim. It stickers out at less than 28K. I did add the dealer installed side steps and expect to put in leather seat skins in the near future.