Yes, this news has not been well received by the community, as Walthers tends to charge alot more than most retailers, and in some cases takes advantage of their market clout, kinda like WalMart, not good for the smaller guys. Time will tell.
I have always had good service with Walthers when I deal direct. I'm willing to pay a bit more if the service is good and I'm treated well. And all of the shops I deal with are affiliated with Walthers.
It's the shipping that eats you up. I have a couple of train buddies and we combine our orders to keep the shipping cost down. We've been doing that for many years.