To those talking about the DS shortage as a marketing strategy, I highly doubt it. Two reasons:
1. The system is launching Nov. 21st here and Dec. 2 in Japan. That's the closest international hardware launch Nintendo has ever done. I assume Japan will get unit priority after launch to make sure there are units on the shelf to combat Sony's PSP which launches Dec 12.
2. Hardware was finalized only a few months ago, which means production has only recently begun. Add to this that each unit has 2 LCD screens (one being a touch screen), and you can see a possible kink in the supply chain here.
So while shortages always generate a frenzy, and thus free marketing in a sense, I think the shortage here is genuine.
Also, it is unclear whether or not this will hurt Nintendo. With PSP on the way sometime next year, having an install base of 4-5 million never hurts. Look at the wonders that did for PS2.