Canon could have lowered prices in the UK to be more reasonable. I wonder if they realize that many buy from Hong Kong or elsewhere to get more reasonable prices. Holding up the price is not going to help the UK dealers in the long term.
I often wonder how sustainable these kinds of pricing policies are. Local retailers are the first casualties.
Somewhere along the line OEMs are going to have to get used to the idea of giving up the revenue they gain by charging more in some markets (this doesn't only apply to cameras), because arbitrage via the Internet is evening things out.
It's a brave new world for sales of electronic goods. The value added by bricks and mortar retailers is being called into question. Together with that, the Internet has globalised the retail market for electronic goods. For camera manufacturers there is the double-whammy that camera phones are eating away at the low end of the market.
The move at the low end to camera phones immediately hurts the camera manufacturers. The move online also hurts, because the likes of Canon and Nikon are moving less stock through higher-priced markets like Europe and Australia, and more through lower-priced markets linke Hong Kong and Singapore. They will need to adjust their strategies, or be ready for a lot of pain.
Sony has already partially adjusted to the move to camera phones through the fact that a lot of Sony's business is through manufacturing sensors for other brands' cameras and phones (including the iPhone). That hasn't made Sony profitable yet however. Canon doesn't have a share of the phone sensor market at all, however.