It's just occurred to me: Bob R, who kicked off this excellent discussion, hasn't been heard from since post #1!
It's been fairly clear that the Kindle has kicked off a lot of discussion, both here and outside this forum, and all that attention has to be good for e-books. Kindles are selling well (I say that, not knowing whether Amazon had 5,000 Kindles or 50 to be "sold out" of), and there's legitimate buzz outside of the traditional e-book and gadget arenas.
With all this attention, publishers have to take notice. And eventually, if more people buy e-books and get clued in to the inherent issues of DRM and formats, there might... just might... be a groundswell of support for formats like ePub, and non-DRM-based selling models... and maybe even lower prices!
... uh? I guess I fell asleep. My, what a nice dream I just had...
Anyway... Bob, I'm curious: Do you still think all this attention might not bode well for the e-book field? Or are all those potential customers just sheep being led to the slaughter?