Come on Phil....missing the point here again. And towards these options there are ways you can make these things work. True, it's almost impossible to get Mike's products....however, Mike will sell to those who are professional, who act and perform in the best manner, and who understand the dynamics of all of this.
As far as other products....you can use what you wish. I never said Volt was a bad product did I? You are missing the concept of this whole thread.
And towards distributors....if you or any other contractor is struggling to pay for common business expenses and you are having to find the lowest priced products, then do so with a company that will give you an edge! This company has taken one of those edges away from you. Why does someone go to this company in the first place??? Isn't because they are the low-priced leader for a decent product? There are several lower-priced companies out there....they just don't blatantly sell at the same price to the consumer....for the most part. My comments towards not throwing away the ~30% in added cost to the distributor is to understand what you are getting for that addition. If a company is struggling to be profitable or they do not see a benefit in working with them, then why go this route? I don't benefit by using them, so I try to limit it or avoid them.
Phil....again, spin this how you wish....it's a matter of understanding what and why I am standing up for these things.