So, apparently, there's a reason Asus' Eee Pad Transformer sold out within hours of its appearance in U.S. e-tail listings. According to the guys over at Netbooknews.de, Asus is facing substantial component shortages that are limiting the flow of Eee Pad Transformers to a trickle.
Citing "sources from the environment" (or so Google Translate tells me), Netbooknews.de says Asus can only churn out about 10,000 of the devices a month—quite a ways below its alleged target of 300,000 a month. The site says Asus couldn't secure supply of components even if it wanted to, because they're "simply not available . . . in the sense of not existing."
Worse still, the site doesn't expect the situation to improve until mid-June. The Eee Pad Transformer might therefore be all but unavailable (or at the very least hideously marked-up) for another month and a half. There goes possibly the only serious, reasonably priced alternative to the iPad 2, unless we can interest you in a $600 Motorola Xoom or a RIM PlayBook that can't do e-mail without a paired BlackBerry smartphone.
That sound you hear is Steve Jobs laughing all the way to the bank.