Rather obvious, all that.
If it was me I would indeed have followed the same path.
There's been much confusion in official Australian circles as to what should happen to him should he come back to motherland (covered here on El Reg among others). The latest press releases from Australia.gov should not obfuscate this.
I know that Australia is not New Zealand, but the recent Megavideo snaffu certainly does not help...
Ecuador on the other hand has quite tense relationships with the US, and Assange would certainly be safer in Ecuador (where he is kind of a hero) than in Australia (where he is unofficially /persona non grata/).
I will not lay on the Swedish case, Assange did and I am not into sloppy seconds. However when considering this case one must remember that Sweden has a fast-track rendition treaty with the US (look up "temporary rendition) and that the US have a closed indictment ready.
Moreover, extraditing someone over allegation (without charge) of a minor civil offense (which carries only a small fine), would be a first for the european extradition system (and certainly a cause for it to be reviewed, in my opinion). Usually these kind of things are settled in the absence of the accused party, and should they choose not to show up to defend themselves, they have to pay the fine when they come back to the country.
The fine the alleged offense carries would not cover _one hour_ fee from a qualified attorney. Compared to the cash Sweden and the UK are currently spending (not to mention the US, most certainly), it is plain ridiculous. (It is also ridiculous compared to the cash Assange is spending to fight it, but he has good reasons to fear for his life so that's somewhat more understandable).
Now compare that to the effort (or lack thereof) which was put into bringing director Roman Polansky to jail over child rape (Which is a criminal offense, not a civil one, and of which he was convicted by default, by the way, so that's possible...), and the irony of the present case will strike you.
The whole thing reeks of a backended revenge scheme from the US.