Er, you can put any book onto a kindle without going through the amazon store. You don't even have to convert it to the .mobi format if you don't want to--it can read pdfs just fine, although the whole point of a .pdf is to reproduce a piece of paper, which doesn't work well with a screen with adjustable font sizes and the like. Use of the .mobi format is for ease. No, Kindle doesn't support .epub, but why would it? You can convert any non-proprietary .epub with the same ease as a .pdf: it took me a matter of minutes to do that to my 80ish .epub collection, and then I just plug in my kindle and drag 'n' drop them right in. No need to go through Amazon at all. And the Kindle now supports syncing of custom .mobi files anyway, so my bookmarks, notes, and progress are the same across my kindle, computers, and phone because they all have kindle apps on them. Why on earth wouldn't I want that? That's what you get through kindle: the content and the distributed medium. Apple, Android, and Windows Phone offer similar syncing potential (of documents, videos, and pictures) with their tablets: I haven't heard of anything similar with the kobo. Amazon doesn't set the prices; publishers do. Perhaps it's easier to steal on another e-reader (doubtful), but that's something else. I don't see how any of your complaints accurately represent what's going on. I remember when ebooks came in a dozen different formats, with a dozen different proprietary readers, and my ebook collection was a complete mess. I'm happy to have a one stop shop. My only annoyance is having to pay for books I physically own already, but there's no way out of that.