I agree with everybody that price is a concern, and believe me, it's heavily driving my design decisions as well as my profit margins. I want to do this project so badly that I'm willing to sacrifice the amount of money I can make just to get it out to the community.
Unfortunately, since we are only talking low volume sales, it's hard for me to get the rock bottom pricing for the components. I'm sure that if I went to a supplier with a million unit order every year for the next 3 years, they would give me a really, really good price. Trying to only purchase one or two thousand components, while still significant to me and my severely depleted savings account, is not significant to the supplier, and thus, the price isn't that great.
There are a lot of hidden costs that go into a lot of wireless devices. You have to pay money to have your device certified by the appropriate regulatory agency in multiple regions of the world. With regard to WiFi, you pay additional money to have your device WiFi certified. All these costs get included in the cost of the ASICs and modules, and are then passed down to the regular guys like you and me. Some of the bigger companies in WiFi (Atheros, Broadcom, Marvell) don't even want to talk to you or show you the spec unless you pay big money up front and are able to commit to have huge purchase orders. So that only leaves the smaller guys as being "Arduino friendly" suppliers.
Anyway, my point is not to create a sob story. I'm willing to take a hit and get my shield out for little to no gain on my end. I just hope that it's helpful to others, and that my sales funnel will turn from a drip, to a trickle, to a gushing stream later.
If that happens, I can guarantee there will be more useful wireless products coming out at very competitive prices.
As far as my shield, I'm hoping to have some demo videos created this week, along with more information on the operation and specifications of what you can do. I'm hoping to have the shield ready for general availability by the middle of April. And I apologize in advance if I don't get it done this week. Currently, I'm CEO, CFO, CTO, VP of Engineering, head of IT, and individual contributor for this venture, not to mention my normal full time engineering job, as well as being dad to my 18 month old running around my house at home. So bear with me and stay tuned... 8-)