I took a trip to my local Games Workshop the weekend just past and noticed quite a few changes there. They no longer sell metal miniatures for any of their ranges in store - they are going through the phases of replacing them with resin FineCast models. I'm not a great fan of resin, so I decided to start buying up my backlist of metal miniatures forthwith from their online store (which I ordered at their bricks and mortar shop this time round). I don't have that many to buy to finish my LotR armies, but will probably need to get my skates on before they are all sold out and/or converted to resin mouldings.
What I was coming on to saying was; although metals are being dropped from their ranges and they have had yet another of their stupendous price hikes, the store was absolutely heaving with customers. OK, many were playing at the tables, but many (myself included) were also buying stuff. So, my take on this seems to be that GW are doing just as well as they always have (their Year End Report recently showed a good profit) no matter what they do with their ranges. Sure, they cheese off some customers with their policies (me included here), but we all seem to go back for more. There's no doubting the quality of their plastic minis (jury is still out for me on the resins), but the price bothers me somewhat. I haven't bought much stuff from them until very recently because of the high prices, but they seem to have hooked into my inner 'collection geek' syndrome, with the "discontinue a range/product and see them come flooding in" technique.
I daresay I will be buying more from GW just to round out my LotR armies, but after that I will probably be sucked in for 'The Hobbit' stuff when it comes out. They have their barbed tentacles sunk into my flesh for a few years more yet to come.