She says that loneliness is a big issue for people, especially for those that lose a loved one. She also says these dolls are often not about the sex but rather more about the companionship.
When it comes to replicas of living people, however, you have to have written permission from the person in question.
These dolls aren’t exactly cheap either. The basic model runs for around $1600. Some of the more customizable dolls can run as much as $6000.