Currently, it is just as cheap to buy camera gear locally in Australia than import it from the US (factoring in deliver and GST). Its the first time that I've ever noticed that. Given that locally supplied gear has correct warranties, the right power plugs etc, I'd be silly not to give the local guys my business. I'm sure that other people around the world are thinking the same. While some of the big US stores might be taking advantage of prices - it will backfire as they lose international sales, as currently the USD is at record lows compared with many major currencies. BH Photo, Adorama, Amazon etc should be taking advantage of this and using this as an opportunity to increase their international sales and generate increased profits. I hope that they will realise this sooner, rather than later.
On a similar topic, has anyone else noticed the increase in shipping costs out of the US over the last two years? What's going on with that? I heard it was due to terrorism laws, but businesses are trying to send things out of the country, not bring them in. If businesses in the US want to become internationally competitive again, shipping prices are a good place to start.