I like your possible conclusions and scenarios. With out a doubt non of these companies are stupid and we are so much useful income to their plans for the future.
Ebay could have been the walmart of the internet, if they had kept a decent pace with their original core sellers.
But they promised the moon and unfortunately so many are right about their being Egreedy. And all the newbie sellers losing money with their being stuck with a nasty bad habit selling items for little or no profit and maybe even losing money. But they keep listing with hope until it dawns on them.
Google is definitely making advances and so is msn, yahoo with some possible move toward ebay. Will be interesting the outcome.