Good article. I think the problem for publishers here was the same one DC and Marvel faced with the comic shops - digital editions were obviously the future, but how to get there without alienating the people selling the bulk of their books in the present? So you ended up with awful, over-expensive, over-DRMed kludges like the WH Smith and Waterstones's ebook stores. Sony's own site was just as bad. I bought a total of three ebooks for my Sony Reader.
Without Amazon, I don't think ebooks would have taken off properly - look at how little impact they made in the UK until Kindle finally launched here - people were still calling ebooks "science fiction" last time I was at FantasyCon! - but, much as I love Amazon as a consumer, it is worrying to see them in such total control that they can persuade thousands of people to withdraw their ebooks from other stores, just for the chance to give their books away for free through Amazon.
One good thing is that the Kindle isn't locked down, and from the beginning you've been able to put books on there from other sellers - and emailing them to your Kindle makes it so easy. So there's still time for publishers to take a more sensible approach. For example, I was delighted recently to find that Night Shade Books have an ebook store: http://www.baenebooks.com/m-8-night-shade-books.aspx