Thanks for all your help. The Kindle was finally delivered to me yesterday (Wednesday), exactly 1 week after it reached Taiwan. I phoned them in the morning to ask what the status was, and they said it would "probably" be delivered the next day. The status on the website at the time was PACKAGE NOT RELEASED THROUGH CLEARING AGENCY SYSTEM - DOCUMENT INSPECTION REQUIRED. However a couple of hours later it was delivered. Couldn't they have updated the status when it left Taoyuan on route to Taichung (I thought that was the whole point)? Why didn't the person who picked up the phone know that it would be delivered the same day and not the next day?
Anyway, delivery complaints aside, I've had a chance to play with the unit and here is my feedback so far, starting with what I don't like:
1. Not all books on Amazon.com have Kindle versions.
2. From those that DO have Kindle versions, many are only available to US readers and not to international users (why??).
3. I don't like the browsing for books experience on the Kindle as much as I do on the main site. The main site knows who I am, my browsing history and what books I would be interested in. On the Kindle however, you pretty much have to know what book you're looking for to begin with. The best seller lists are full of books I have never heard of, since main of the real best sellers aren't available (on the international Kindle at least).
4. The prices of Kindle books aren't much cheaper than (especially for paperbacks). Most sell for $11.99 US which is around $375 NT. Hard cover equivalents tend to cost more.
Here's what I do like however:
1. All Kindle books let you sample a chapter for free. With one click, the first chapter is sent to your device. This works better with some books than others, since with some books, most of the "first chapter" is filled with acknowledgements and table of contents, leaving very little to sample of the actual book. However this is still better than nothing, and helps in the decision process (of whether to buy).
2. The wireless transfer works quite well. So you almost don't feel like paying a few bucks more, because the book is instantly downloaded onto your device.
3. I downloaded a piece of software called Calibre from http://calibre.kovidgoyal.net/
It is a sort of itunes for ebooks. It is free (open source) and does a great job of converting pdfs and ebooks in other formats into the Kindle format. You have to plug your Kindle to your computer via USB though to use it. You CAN have it transfer files wirelessly to your Kindle, but then you get dinged hefty fees from Amazon ($0.99 USD per MB).
4. This Calibre software also lets you subscribe to your favorite blogs, feeds etc. These will be sent to your Kindle during your next sync.
In summary, without points 3 and 4 above, I would probably find the Kindle purchase to be a bit of a waste. However the Calibre software makes a big difference. Plus I expect the international selection to increase over time, which I expect to add to my enjoyment.