They do such a bad job of component selection. The frame is light, rigid, indestructable, and rides like a dream. But then they throw the most asenine selection of components on there. Why in the world would they put the expensive Capreo derraieur on the bike, but not a Capreo hub? My Deore XT derraileur short arm has a smaller arm length, is cheaper, and handles the same range of gears as the Capreo.
The ideal bike? Let Pacific make the Birdy frame and let Dahon select the components.
This explains why Bianchi Birdy bikes are the only ones that sell in mass market retailers.
I've been living in Japan for the last few years and since I was moving back to the UK it was my last chance to get a Birdy with out paying huge amounts of money, so I finally stumped up the cash after years of wanting one. I could try emailing a few dealers for you to ask about international shipping etc, but I know that Frettas are in short supply at the moment. It took me a while to track down a black one ( I had to go to a shop and pay full retail price, but no tax), although there are celeste (the Bianchi green colour) ones available. I've actually wondered about importing a few myself.