Re: A great shame, but probably inevitable.
"The Arduino software project seems happy with the idea of clones"
Are you sure? Your link goes to a donation page but doesn't provide any support for your statement.
Below what the project actually says:
"He detailed out what ‘counterfeit Arduinos’ are, and why they are harmful to the whole open-source hardware movement. We release Arduino’s hardware design files so that people could make their own versions, but this doesn’t mean manufacturing boards only for profit and pretending to be Arduino.
" We don’t release any element of the Arduino brand identity (logo and graphics of the boards), so whoever uses the trademarked Arduino graphics makes a deliberate act of Trademark infringement and prevent us in our effort to guarantee the quality of our products, always replaceable if defective."
Most of the eBay sellers make no attempt to differentiate themselves from the real product. There's a difference between an IBM PC and an IBM-Compatible PC.
Anyway, the original point is that it's really stupid to criticise Maplin for selling a genuine product more expensive than a counterfeit.