Interestingly, I was just looking at a Groupon offer for a local cupcake business, offering up to 55% off one or two dozen cupcakes. I'm in a small(er) city, so don't think an event like this story shows will happen here. Hope not, anyway. I appreciate local businesses!
The Kobo uses ePub, which is an open format I believe. Yes you can make purchases directly from the Kobo store, but you can also sideload content from other sources. I have purchased ebooks from Sitepoint, O'Reilly, and Manning and read the ePub editions on my Kobo without issue. It's even possible to purchase Kindle-formatted content, and convert to ePub using the likes of Calibre.
As an owner of the 2nd-gen Kobo (WiFi+USB), I'm not feeling at all interested in this new device. I love the e-ink display on my reader, and the fact it can go weeks without a charge. I don't need a bigger and heavier device to do the same thing.