The shipping cost is what it has to be - and I don't want them skimping on packing BUT what I don't see is why the "lucky" early birds are charged full retail for a direct ex-factory sale - effectively a "beta" product which (I believe?) may be supplied without a proper manual/without proper decals etc. I don't know what the dealer mark-up is but I think that either the early bird products should be discounted 20-30% for the reasons I've already given or
the shipping should be subsidised. At the end of the day its the total amount we pay that matters but I agree with others that paying as much for the shipping as for the product itself gives me a sharp pain. Like Chris, I've skipped on all the early birds so far - I'd like to go for the 190 but I'd like a sign that GWS value my business/recognise that the product may not be complete/recognise that by definition the early birds are committed GWS customers who provide useful and constructive feedback. This sign should have "$$$ off" symbols on it!!
Edit - Pat I agree with you. I've just taken delivery of a 1.5m glider from HK which cost about $45 to ship and I certainly couldn't get a GWS plane from the US for anything much less than about $40 - it costs £6.50 - about $12 to get a GWS kit delivered by mail from my LHS!