Yesterday a number of my clients called me to say they wanted me to design out the FTDI FT232R from current designs and replace it with an alternative (I settled on the Microchip MCP2200). Today, after this news, I called each of them to explain FTDI's change in policy and see if they still wanted to make this change. All of them said yes.
The feedback was essentially this: FTDI's actions left a bad taste in their mouth and they didn't appreciate this action being taken without any real attempt to notify resellers and manufacturers; and now that they know the alternate chip I proposed was about half the price as FTDI's offering they are happy to change. Now none of these people are high volume manufacturers, so it will unclear if FTDI will even notice.
The reason I have found for most clients wanting FTDI is confidence in the brand more than anything else. This move will affect it a little, but people's memories are short, and FTDI responded quickly enough that they won't suffer too much damage. My prediction is that FTDI will take a dip in sales for a quarter , and then things will return to more or less normal; but companies like Microchip will likely see an uptick, because manufacturers more aware of the alternatives.