I've been waiting for years for something this cheap and capable to come to market. The fact people are getting so hyped up about these delays just proves to me this is a product which has been long wanted by people around the world. Where were the venture capitalists, the Entrepreneurs, the big electronic companies who could have done this but didn't because they wanted to sell you a big beige box instead? It's took a group of dedicated people 7 years of their spare time and I imagine some persuasive skill with their employers at Broadcomm to get here at all.
The fact that the hackers out there are falling over themselves to get hold of one (or 10) is incidental to the core reason these people put together the foundation. i.e. to get the boards into UK schools and to teach kids. I for one hope they do not loose sight of their main goal and they have wide enough shoulders for the shit they are bound to get on forums and by commentators. I think it's a shame they had to compromise and build the gear in China, but hey, that's life.
They've been under pressure now for a while to get the board out to people, a lot of whom want to use it for their own projects (including me). At the end of the day unless you're one of the people who are going to provide educational material or teaching aids for this you should shut your mouths and wait your turn. I can't afford a beagle board to mess about with but at it's price point the Pi is getting me as excited as the day i first sat down with my Vic 20 and saw the expansion port, which hasn't happened in a long time. Someone mentioned maybe it would have been great if they could have made some batches in the UK at a higher price. There has been enough talk of the Pi for a while now but no-one put their money where their mouths were. Were the foundation offered this ? Did they want to wait untill they could get the board out at the lower price to everyone ?
Only they know and how many extra hours of negotiation would that have took away from the main goal of getting the pi out there. RS and farnell have had some shit as well but they have taken a chance more than anyone else to help get this to market in volume. it could have flopped like a overcooked soufflé for all they knew so they should get a break too. One final comment on the Chinese production. Come on who wasn't expecting some minor hiccups. I've never even had a manual from there without a spelling mistake in it and if I had to negotiate building an electronic device with someone half the world away I'm sure they could find fault with my simplified Chinese.