It seems to me, that new technology, as it goes through re designs and new generations must do two things:
1)Add Features and Reliability
The HD-A3, from what I can tell, doesn't add any features to what the HD-A2 had, except for the fact that it looks slicker. However if it doesn't take 40 seconds to turn on, that would be much appreciated.
So for the price to remain the same at $299 seems absolutely ridiculous.
The only reason I can think of for this, is that they know a chinese HD-DVD player will come out at around the same time in October, and will cost $199.
Which is really what Toshiba needs, because Toshiba has always been a middle of the road brand, not the cheap brand, so Toshiba needs a cheap player to undercut the HD-A3 anyway.