This topic has been touched on before, but I finally got a taste of it firsthand this morning. With all the buzz about folks considering the AVM-20 as an alternative to the Outlaw 950, I decided to see what I could find out regarding this unit and its' pricing and availability. As part of my efforts, I searched SF/Anthem's site and found the dealer's phone numbers in Texas and Louisiana and started calling. What I heard simply stunned me. First, no one really wanted to talk on the phone about the Anthem or its' price. Many dealers did not even carry this unit in stock, but sold it by special order only. - If the dealer does not have it in stock, the wait can be up to 5 weeks, since Anthem only makes these units once a month, and only makes enought to fill all orders placed by time of run start. Anthem keeps no backstock of the AVM-20. - I thought great. Since dealers keep little or no backstock, none of the associated costs with stocking a product can be assigned to the units eventual cost. With the AVM-20, it is almost as though the authorized dealers ARE online dealers who ship directly from the manufacturer. Of course, it was not to be. Why? - Price Fixing! Anthem goods are strictly "price fixed" by the manufacturer. Dealer after dealer gave me "only one price" for the AVM-20... $3200. They said that Anthem demands that they sell this unit at full retail or risk losing their line. Finally, I found one LA dealer who was willing to give me a huge 4% discount for paying cash. - Restriction of Trade! All dealers must agree to a contract with Paradigm/SF/Anthem in which they are assigned a specific geographic area in which the buyer must live in order to sell them an AVM-20. I was asked by one dealer for an address within his area before he would answer ANY questions on the AVM-20. When I told him I had no local dealer, he told me that I should call Anthem and ask them for permission to talk to him first. Simply Ridiculous! - Protection Money! After running into Anthem blockade after Anthem Blockade, I called a friend who carries the Anthem line and here is what I was told. The reason that all the Anthem dealers are running scared is that Anthem actually has written into their dealer agreements that a fine can be levied by Anthem against any dealer who breaks the Anthem price fixing or restrictive trade covenants of the agreement. The fine is equal to 3 times the cost of the unit sold outside of the agreement. Holy Cow! No wonder they were scared! My friend said that he thought the agreement was actually against the law, but if the dealer wanted to sell Paradigm, SF or Anthem, they had no choice but to sign the agreement. I was shocked by this developement. Litte would I have guessed that an electronics manufacturer could impose such draconian measures on its' dealers and therefore, on its' customers. These practices seem to mirror the same tactics used by the Mob to control its' drug dealers and their street vendors. Of course, Anthem can't kill their dealers for violation of their rules... at least not yet. In conclusion, since we place our votes with the dollars we spend on our purchases, IMO, buying Paradigm, SF and Anthem would serve to condone and approve these type of Mob tactics used by Paradign to keep their dealers in goosestep. I will not be supporting these type of anti-business practices with my dollars, regardless of how good the gear sounds. Thank God for consumer friendly companies like SVS, Outlaw, Adire and their kin.