I used to be a CFI at a large flight school in Santa Monica, CA (SMO). I believe their rate is $35-40/hr now and the CFI sees $15-30, depending on the type of instruction and how long the instructor has been there. Our chief pilot charges $45-50 I think and he has no shortage of students. I am all in favor of charging more for CFI's....As long as the CFI provides a quality product and conducts himself/herself accordingly.
I instructed at a place in Camarillo (between LA and Santa Barbara) and they charged $40/hr and the instructor got $20. Not bad concidering when I was an engineer they charged $104/hr and I got $20! The highest instruction rates I've seen are in Palo Alto, CA. $60/hr plus if I remember right.
If only those rates were common. I fly out of LGB and see rates between 20 and 35 an hour. The CFI teaching me to keep the glass side down has over 5,000 hours of dual given only charges 30 an hour. The only people I see charging more than that are FAA Designated Examiners.
Count your blessings mate-good to still have paid flying employment-much luckier than some that left their CFI jobs and are now at K-Mart after getting fuloughed from their newly acquired regional position. Or others that paid squillions for their training with no hope of even a CFI position (which I'd actually love-I think it's a great end in itself-not just a means).
So count your blessings, and say g'day to Andrew for me.