Geek Related has finally weighed in here. It's weird that I managed to scoop him.
More discussion, as well as a chillingly plausible insight into why WotC is doing this, can be found here.
The current topic of discussion among we grognards is now "Will WotC be stupid and try to cut out Amazon as well?" If they do, then mark my words: They cut their own throats in the same action.
I wouldn't wager on a brick-and-mortar distribution in even the best of economies, let alone in a recession which has companies failing left and right.
Of course, some folks this is a preliminary move towards using a DRM-based document out of WotC's servers. Given Wizards' abysmal track record for online initiatives, I find this highly plausible and equally doomed to failure.
In conclusion: Play Pathfinder.
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