That’s a damn shame, Dave. Apple is generally ridiculously expensive over here, as well. The iPad is a surprising departure, really — not that it is cheap or anything, but it could have been nearer $1000 for the base model if they had wanted it to be (that would have interfered with their plans for mass adoption and therefore domination, however).
Hopefully they will head downward in price for everyone as version two comes out. Who knows? Maybe a few smart devs will be able to port the OS to one of the tablet competitors when they have been about a bit, as well.