Given all that, I think it's pretty difficult to offer accurate street dates every time (they are usually pretty close in most cases) and completely unrealistic to think that all retailers are getting the same product within a week or two timeline. The only time that seems to happen is when there is a brand new line coming out and that usually comes along with an official "do not release until..." street date.
Fair enough. But the very thing you are describing as "completely unrealistic" is EXACTLY what they do with DVD's.
Transformers 2 has a street date.
On that street date, I can walk into ANY Walmart, Target, etc in the country and buy that DVD. Regardless of how may "older" DVD's they have sitting on the pegs. Somehow they ALWAYS find a place for the new releases.
I don't have to drive to six different Walmarts to find the DVD I want.
I don't have to worry that the studio only packed 1 copy per case, so if some random ahole gets there before me I am out of luck.
And somehow magically, the retail outlets are able to cycle through older inventory without having to sacrifice ordering the new stuff.
Now THAT's an oversimplification. But it's also a great illustration of how Hasbro has a crappy business model.
I don't want to derail the whole thread with this rant, my only point is that the whole business paradigm for toys in this country is seriously messed up. If you tried to sell another product like that (music industry comes to mind) you would fail miserably.
Please don't flame me...I'm just throwing out an opinion - there are probably a lot of other frustrated collectors out there that would agree.