"..a non-official more liberal sidetrack of the AppStore such as Cydia/Installer, but there are some very good reasons for not going down that path - just try justifying with upper management in your org to buy iPhones and then have them all 'jailbroken' cos it makes them more useable."
Why would you try justifying to management buying a phone that doesn't do what you need it to? The reason that it's ridiculous is because you'd be a laughing stock for getting them to pay stupid money for something that isn't useable enough in the first place.
"There are so many unknowns, possibly so many developers with alterior motives - its a great way of getting malware onto potentially thousands of iPhones. That coupled with the fact that lots of unofficial products are made by so many people outside the western world - Yankee/Brit haters have to be amongst them all."
Yes, terrorists are indeed planning the downfall of the Western World by...ROGUE IPHONE APPS! Best get onto MI5 immediately, dunno why they haven't thought of it yet.
"Not only that but there is also no code review, and you could rapidly end up with some very hairy software."
Well yes, but most people manage to deal with that perfectly fine on a day-to-day basis when they install freeware, never mind the mess that some things get into WITH code review (Windows, Safari, Flash, shall I continue?).
"But luckily its mitigated by the fact that there are only a handful of different device hardware variations - write an app on iPhone, debug it, its likely to behave very similarly on an iPod Touch, even going back hardware versions. You can't say the same thing about the PC platform, or even Windows Mobile."
That's because they're essentially the same thing, repackaged, and sold for more money. On a PC platform (I note that you seem to equate PC with Windows, as I'm sure, even being a Windows fan, that most apps written for the latest flavour of Ubuntu would work most of the way back, moreso than Apple products in many cases), UP UNTIL Vista, most things written for the platform would indeed work in pretty much the same way. Vista is a different fish, because it enforces standards that MS have been pushing for a long time, which is a good thing, not a flaw (even if they have done it late).
"The real issue though is with piracy - check out Appulous' Installous. Same situation with the Sony PSP - a spanish chap ripped that OS completely out of the lockdowns Sony inflicted on everybody, and singlehandedly ended up creating a huge piracy problem for the platform that Sony can never control. Of course it was done in the name of liberal-ness and being able to write 'homebrew' apps, but I dont believe it for a second - especially what with his custom-firmware's inherent ability to copy and play ISO files of the UMD game disks, copying them to your memory stick."
It was bound to happen sooner or later, and let's face it, the PSP was a pretty stupid idea anyway.
"I think the same is happening with Installous, however piracy isn't going to be as big on the iPhone - the iPhone/Touch is aimed not at unscrupulous gamers alone - and titles are available so easily and cheaply from the AppStore - its considered a lot more hard work to go to the effort of 'full on' piracy."
Why are gamers unscrupulous? It's not considered a lot more hard work, it IS a lot more hard work to pirate games than to just download them. What's more to the point is, that people are stupid enough to pay the tariff for an iPhone, which means they're far more likely to be stupid enough to pay for crappy apps. Never mind that they mostly probably don't know what a torrent is, never mind let themselves be distracted long enough from their shiny phone to download one.
You annoy me.