I first mailed him back on Sept. 28th, with full understanding that I'd wait ten days for the personal check to clear and all that. That would have been totally fine, except I never heard anything to indicate that he'd gotten my e-mail. I'd have been willing to wait longer to receive the DVD, I just wanted to know that he'd gotten my correspondence. The DVD is great, everything was as promised, but I wouldn't do business with this guy again. He seems to be someone who's not that comfortable with the written word, but you know what? Not being comfortable with e-mail is not an acceptable factor for someone who runs their entire business online! *shakes head* He's lucky I only left neutral feedback, rather than negative. I hate eBay anyway, but couldn't find anyone who was offering it for less than $40 on other online auction sites, and I knew that was way too much to pay. Still, I was afraid to wait for it to come down in price elsewhere since I've learned my lesson that you can never tell when import DVDs are going to suddenly go out of print, so we went for it.
As for the DVD itself, the picture is gorgeous. We watched the whole thing last night. There are a few artifacts, it clearly hasn't been digitally remastered, but it's still very clean. You can see spiderwebs on some of the lumber mill equipment in the credits that I've never seen before: that's how clear it is. As Brian Kursar at Dugpa.com points out, the sound pitch is just a bare half-step too high: Agent Cooper sounds just the weensiest bit like a chipmunk at times, but it's only noticeable if you're listening for it. He also says that the picture is even better than the laserdisc. I've never seen the laserdisc, but Brian seems like a nice guy, I've corresponded with him via e-mail, so I'll trust him on this one. :)
The BIG DEAL is that it is the AMERICAN pilot, baby! Yes! As it was originally broadcast in the US!
I've now found a site that isn't an auction dealer, where you can order direct: Scarecrow Video. They're asking $29.95 for it. That's more than we paid for it, yes, but had I known about it before we did the online auction thing I would've gladly paid that much. the $9.97 difference would've been well worth the reduction in stress and follow-ups.
I could've done without the hassle, but I'm very glad to have it. I highly recommend purchasing a copy if you have the opportunity to do so from someone reputable.