While there are a few blogs that have mentioned this fun situation, most notably Pat, James, and Jeff, I have been silently fuming and therefore need to put pen to paper...or...fingers to keys.
Brandon Sanderson's Tweets from a few weeks back deal with, in large majority, the fact that the eBook for Towers of Midnight comes out much later than the Hardback version that just came out this week. He concedes that it's coming out too late, talks to the right people, and gets the date moved up a bit.
Then we see a slew (13 out of 63) of one star reviews coming in for Towers of Midnight solely because people are mad that it's not coming out right away electronically.
I admit, I have yet to jump on the eReader bandwagon and I probably will soon enough (I think I've mentioned the lack of funds before). I don't have an ebook and therefore I have no passion for ebooks yet. That's my warning.
What this really comes down to is Price Discrimination. The Publishing market has been the prime example of Price Discrimination for just about every economics professor known to man. In order to decrease the amount of consumer surplus (and therefore increase revenues), the publishing market takes advantage of the fact that many people are very excited about the newest book coming out. So much so that they are willing to pay extra for that opportunity to read the book immediately.
I know there are other reasons for people wanting to buy hardback books. They're nice to have, they look good, they're more durable for multiple readings...but they also represent the opportunity for the publisher to make some extra money on those people who do not want to wait. Hence why the mass market paperback doesn't come out for another year or so after the hardback. Why aren't we complaining that the mmpb isn't coming out now?
Now there are eBooks. And even with the increased price (which I think is the only part where complaints are legitimate), they still take away quite a bit from the hardback sales. A publisher is not going to do this. That's their bread and butter.
Coming to my point. I think it's really sad that people have gone to Amazon to post 1 star reviews about the book. I know we're in the age of instant gratification. We need cell phones that let us check email because we can't be out of touch for more than a second.
But, if you want to read a book, you still have to pay the premium, just like we always have. If you want the discount, you have to wait a bit.