I suspect Toshiba will sell directly on both models for the next month or so to stabalize the retail price! If you search around most site's the HD-E1 is around the £400 mark & the HD-XE1 is around £600. Most pre orders for the E1 were £350 ish & if you were lucky as i was you would have pre ordered the XE1 for £505! The more people that buy for Toshiba, the less people will keep there pre-orders with other dealers thus allowing the retail price to balance out. play.com has already increased the price of the E1 back to £449.99, I would more than likely say others will follow suit!
I have bought an E1 from Toshiba, but will be keeping my pre-order for the XE1 as the price was too good! I'm hoping Toshiba are giving the extra 2 year warranty on the E1, as it's over £400.......But we'll see!
Ordered mine from Tosh too. I have 12 HD-DVD's waiting to be opened! From another well known forum it was dropped that Toshiba made a new batch of players (US anyway) with the fixed part as that was quicker to get them out than modify the original batch. I suspect the allocation Toshiba UK has been given now will be the new batch too. The retail outlets will probably get the fixed versions of the players made in October and hence the delay to January. I also suspect Toshiba wanted to get at least some out there before Christmas (they did say there would be a small amount when the delay was announced) but time dictated they could ony do the direct route from Toshiba UK.