I agree totally - my observation is based purely on consultancy with our client base, and with discussions with other developers and consultants. Equally, your anecdotal evidence is drawn from sites that are more likely to be populated by people who have benefitted from the cost savings granted by the bundles.
Not necessarily. I frequent other fora like AppleNova and the MacRumors forums where the opinions regarding bundles are quite varied, ranging from indifference to cautiousness to enthusiasm. And I've also based my observations from reviews on MacUpdate and VersionTracker, where the user base for an app can include all manner of people, including those who are just checking out the trial version, checking out a newer version of the app, bought direct from the developer and those who got it free as part of a promotion or on a discount.
Arguably that's a much better indicator of what attitudes are towards Mac shareware (though by all means it's still rough), as not everyone who's a Mac user, or a consumer of Mac shareware is a developer, consultant, web designer, or part of your clientele.
My point really was that there were no other reasons given for not purchasing the application other than "we'll wait for it to show up in a bundle". Not "It doesn't do exactly what we want" or "We don't want anything that doesn't come from Apple or Adobe" or "We don't like the icon" - it was always "we'll wait for it to show up in a bundle".
And the problem I had with that is that you seemed to imply that this is indicative of a greater trend of people eschewing purchases for bundles. Again, not all Mac users or Mac shareware customers think like this!
The success of the bundle mentality has meant that they now consider them over-priced. If we assume that people are just plain cheap then the bundle mentality has proven them to be right.
No, your argument was that bundles have cheapened shareware in the eyes of Mac users. While I think that's true to a certain extent, my point is that it's not entirely the fault of bundles and there are other factors at play.
What I'd like to see on a more global level is initiatives that think beyond bundling as I'm still not convinced it is a sustainable solution.
The concept will evolve overtime, perhaps into a more á la carte model or perhaps into an App Store-like model. We've seen the former achieve a good amount of success in the past. People are constantly thinking up new ideas and there are all sorts of ways this could go.
That being said, no one's ever said that bundles are going to be the end-all and be-all of selling indie Mac software. No one's advocating that everyone buy only bundles. If people do that, it's their choice and they're only hurting themselves. John and many of us others actively encourage people to buy the apps they need right now, if they need them.
Apple's moves into software products or implementing features in the OS has had unfortunate impacts on developers, but the impact has been tightly focussed on a handful of developers rather than the entire community.
The impact may have been on a few developers but the fear was more widespread.
I also hardly doubt that MacHeist as a whole has impacted the entire community so enormously. I've not seen developers wholesale across the Mac Web screaming about how all of their sales have dried up because Phill, John, and Joel are eating their lunch.
That also reminds me of how people tend to conveniently ignore the opinions and cases of developers who feel quite content with their experience with bundles and have seen their business grow from it.
My worry is that more developers will ultimately be victims of the success of bundles. It would be cruelly ironic if the success of bundles resulted in a sparser developer community and an audience with expectations that no independent software product should ever cost more than a dollar.
While I still adhere to the notion that people are cheap, I'd like to do so with the proviso that people on the whole know a quality product when they see it and are fully ready to pay for it, regardless of whether its in a bundle or not. I think 1Password and Coda are good examples of this. Mac users on the whole are quite discerning and in general have a good idea that with some exceptions, you get what you pay for - it's why they chose the Mac in the first place instead of an econobox Dell.
My point is that Mac users being Mac users have high expectations for their user experience and third-party apps are a part of that. I find it really condescending that anyone could imagine me and the rest of the community here going down to a state where we think that shareware apps are just as disposable as an iPhone app.
AppShelf: MacHeist 3 Loot
AppShelf: nanoBundle 1
Check Reciept Page for nanoBundle 2 AppShelf Files.