Thanks, I got lucky (apparently). I was considering buying a fat bike this year and I was cruising the MTBR Fat bike forum randomly back in October and saw mention that bikesdirect was putting out a fat bike. The details on the website were a bit sketchy, and they had some stupid "like us on facebook, post this picture to your timeline and give us your email address" thing you had to do to get in line. In three weeks or so I got an email saying I was next in line and I had to pay in full within 24 hours to get a bike. I had to quickly get approval from the finance department (had to escalate to get a decision that fast) and about 6 weeks later they delivered my bike.

I paid $899 for it and added about $250 of parts to it, including some new lighter tires. It rides great. Love the bike! Sorry I didn't give money to a LBS, but sometimes you have to work within a budget. I know bikesdirect has a lot of detractors, but if you know what you are getting, their bikes are usually a good deal. there's a long thread over at MTBR that describes where this bike came from (its actually designed by a company in Norway and the design was kind of stolen by the China factory where its built).

I understand their next shipments will come in February/March.

There's another low cost option here: http://framedbikes.com/v2/bikes.html#fat, but I haven't seen ship dates for them yet.

John