I'd like to see these go away all together. Making things harder for people to find is not the way to support collectors. No wonder the supposed "collector market" has declined in sales lately.
With all of the talks about Hasbro toning the line down for the time being exclusives may be the only way to get some of the many wants we still have as well as some real OT goodness. I changed my tune towards them after the recent Q&A's. While they are a real pain to get I have to say that this years exclusives were very well done overall. The only one left on my list is the AT-ST and more Dewbacks, I already have one of those and it's great!
Here are my impressions of what I bought (sans the AT-ST):
I picked up the Crumb Bomber & Tie Interceptor (it's freaking perfect!) yesterday. The Tie price blows but when you see how much detail has been added and I think many will be quite happy with it, outside of cockpit lighting not sure how this can get any better detail wise. The Gunship price really blows but once again they really added some nice new details. The new flip out cannons shoot 4 missiles each, that's a total of 5 missiles per canon! The coloring is nice and looks like it's straight out of the movie. It would have been great to see them ditch the Speeder /Bike holder for medical beds as seen in the CN episode.
Wedge/X-Wing - Long overdue and well done. Compared to other exclusives the price is very reasonable at $44.99
Geo Packs - While there is a lot of rehashing I was very happy with these (Outside of BD's eye sockets)
DF2 - This is the 60/40 miss. Half of the content of the sets were nice (BL-17, The other Protocol Droid, Corran, Whistler, Grievous cape, DT and an honorable mention the R2 unit that came with Grievous) the rest (Anakin, Maul, Boba, Grievous Figure, Cortis SBD) sucked.
Evo Pack - Really awesome overall and even more awesome at $17 a pop like many, including myself, paid.
Octapurra Droid - A real homerun and sleeper hit.
Dewback - amazing, the Sandtrooper is perfection. We really should haunt Hasbro for a SC release.
The AT-ST looks superb I really cannot wait to get this!
So all in all I appreciate the exclusives a lot more. Hasbro is cutting the number of them back too so keep that in mind. For the time being I think the importance of exclusives has been elevated. This is the only way, from what it sounds, that we will get Jabba/Dias and the Taun Taun. I plan to support the dewback heavily, I really want new ones.