I could counter this that your evidence is based on your own experience. I would agree on wave 1 being overshipped. As for the subsequent two waves? Those were relatively more scarce.
So your initial and follow on statements weren't based on your personal experience? Or are you assuming information from others/nationwide?
This is based on a couple of factors. First, there's the secondary market demand at this time. I see a limited ammount of Clone Wars product on the convention circuit, and when I do the prices are somewhat high ($15 - $20 range for Basic Figures). I hit conventions throughout the Northeast as well as some of the midwest. Also factor in online secondary market prices, and Clone Wars is still rather high in demand.
Additionally, some of my evidence is personal, anecdotal evidence. However, I will offer that since I am in one of the largest population centers in the country, that what I've seen at retail is probably closer to the national statistical average. It's all about the sample size. The fact is that there are more retail outlets and more consumers involved in Star Wars in the NY metropolitan area. Statistical studies will show you that the more data you have to compare, the closer you are to the statistical mean.
I'm sure the clone 3 packs were hoarded by army builders...but I was able to easily find the ROTS ones several times in stores (all types). Which is why I think the CW clone 3 packs never sat because they weren't shipped enough...which in turn is key for items not pegwarming...popularity counts (any type of clones related to an EU success argument probably shouldn't have been mentioned) but distribution quantity is vital.
I can't agree with your methodology here, because you're making an assumption that doesn't take into account the state of things in 2003/04. I will agree that the CW Clone Trooper 3-packs were hoarded. One of the main reasons? The lack of other good AOTC Clone Troopers on the market at that time. Here's what collectors had at their disposal in terms of Clone Troopers when these came out:
POTJ Sneak Preview Clone Trooper
SAGA Clone Trooper (red deco)
SAGA Deluxe Clone Trooper w/ speeder bike
SAGA Clone Trooper Pilot
And during the run of the Clone Wars line there were also the Mega-Buy 2-packs, the ARC Trooper, the SA Clone (VHTF) and the CW Deluxe Clone w/ speeder bike. The CW Clone 3-packs were the only pieces to offer AOTC Clones in all of the ranking colors at that point. That was a selling point for these sets. It's the state of army building at the time that led the Clone Wars 3-packs to be as hot as they were. They shipped, and they were bought up FAST!
Now fast forward to 2005. There were a lot more offerings in terms of Clone Troopers in the ROTS Basic Figure line. Plus we had also gotten the EE exclusive SA Clone Trooper 4-packs. Those had raised the expectations of collectors, and as a result the Clone Trooper 3-packs in the ROTS Deluxe line weren't as widely hailed by collectors. Especially when there were figures like the ROTS #41 Clone out there. And the unit markings seemed less important this time around. These shipped almost as much as the CW 3-packs, but frankly they came across as shoddy and I didn't see as many people army building with them in '05. Circumstances were definitely very different.