I've been collecting this line for a long time. Regular edition pieces have NOT been that hard to come by with the exception of some things released in the first year or so ( AOTC Yoda, 1st edition Vader, Boba Fett) and when GG decided to do the AOTC and ROTS Clone Trooper cases. Exclusives are a whole other story.
Regular editions have not been hard to come by as long as you got them via pre-order or shortly after they're released. If you wait a month or so hoping to find it for under MSRP, you never know what will happen.
There have been very few "Army builders" in the past, so it's hard to compare this Royal Guard situation with anything besides the clones. For both Episodes 2 and 3, they short packed one color, and that color was harder to find for retail. On the other hand, we have the Stormtroopers, those were a huge edition size that got down to under 40 bucks at one point at retail. Probably because there wasn't a variation.
But this whole scare tactic that is going on with the Royal Guard and Senate Guard is not serious enough to warrant changing how I buy busts. I will not be breaking my pattern of ordering them through my comic shop the way I've been doing for years. I managed to get the Utapau Clone Trooper that way and I'm certain that I'll be getting the Senate Guard that way too.
Fair enough. These guards aren't really changing "how" I buy busts either. I usually pre-order the ones I think will be harder to find, and I usually wait to buy the ones that will be more common, because I get them for less than retail. I'm willing to bet the Blue Guard will be harder to get, and that's why I pre-ordered one. The Red guard, I'll bet I get for around 40 bucks...and I'm waiting on him.