Our contacts are telling us that these cards are selling out quickly and that AMD cannot make enough of them to meet demand. Just recently we started to see custom cooled cards from Sapphire and XFX and we are sure that many others will follow. In addition, cheaper R9 290 custom cards are on the way.
The problem is hard to fix as the $549 card is more attractive than the top Nvidia card, which is priced significantly higher and starts at $679. Oveclocked cards with custom cooling sell for $700 or more.
Our sources are telling us that cards are selling better than AMD and partners originally expected. Independent sources who like to remain anonymous for obvious reasons do claim that the hot Radeon R9 290X was the best selling high-end graphics card that they saw in many years.
Once you get the price and performance right, the market reacts positively and when the response is too positive, this is what happens.