Currently I prefer to have the paper version of a book, and buy ones to the extend that I can afford it. But in the case that e-readers would become as practical and nice as books, not only should pricing be really different from the paper version, in addition I would like to have an (easy and convenient) option to be able to cancel the purchase within a certain period of time in case the book is a real dissappointment. As far as a can see, that would be great way to be get to know more authors of which to buy books.
Coming back to the price: I've got some experience with the dilemma between electronic dictionaries (either software or hardware) and their paper versions, and online subcriptions. Software dictionaries seem to always just be the same price as their paper equivalent (and you don't get both). Weird. So far I have decided to boycot both as a result (not to mention online subcriptions, which are much much more expensive even) (example: the 5th edition of Kenkyusha's Japanese-English - pity I can't use it, but instead I use and help improve the open dictionary wwwjdic, which get better every day).
I did buy a hardware electronic dictionary with 15 or so (other) dictionaries in it though.
Le Guin: "I thought, who do these people think they are? Why do they think they can violate my copyright and get away with it?
I'm certain libraries have to pay for the right to lend books somewhat to someone. Does any of that money ever reach the authors, I wonder? If so, I can't imagine it will be much. My subscription to the public library is less than 30 euris a year and I read dozens of books each month.
Getting to my minor point: as a teenager I read most of Le Guin's books that were available at the public library at that time, almost for free. I doubt she ever got any money for that. Did that hurt her? I ended up buying three of those books I already read, because I really liked them.
Even today I mainly buy books of authors which I got to know through reading their work almost for free first. In fact, with regard to SF I know only one author who's books I bought whiteout ever having read some work first. I just bought a fourth book of Alistair Reynolds, having been introduced to his work through a few books that just happened to be left in the English section of the public library here. As it happens, as a result of a reorganization most of the SF in the public library here (in Leiden, the Netherlands), only with exception of really big names, and then mostly Fantasy - has been removed from the main collection in Dutch - and they hardly seem to want to acquire any new SF titles, either Dutch or English. I'm certain I'm missing new authors as a result of that. Maybe I should turn to usenet?
BYTE editors are people who separate the wheat from the chaff, and then carefully print the chaff.