How much do people want them though to make it worth it? Everyone HERE might have interest, but thats a small percentage of customers.... unless of course, we buy all 400x p. hastatus.
That's really the issue. 99% of the hobbyists don't care about rare/unusual. They want colorful, and inexpensive. The rest of us 1%ers just don't make it worthwhile for shop owners to bring in this stuff. And I put part of the blame on the shop owners. They COULD sell these fish if they took the time to learn about them. But, as one wholesaler put it: "I only bring in things that people buy, not anything I have to sell". A very shortsighted philosophy, IMO. There are many, many commercially viable fish available to the shops, but since they have no idea what these fish are, they will not take a chance on them. This is so unlike how it was in the past, when shop owners would clamor for the rare and unusual as it brought customers into the store to not only to buy these fish, but perhaps a new tank for them. IMO, shop owners just don't think that way any more. They are happy with the market they have instead of trying to build and expand on them.
I remember as a highschooler, every Saturday I'd get on my bike and ride east to Larry Mendolson's Tropical Wonderland in Bayshore to see what new stuff he got in. Then I'd ride back along Montauk Hwy to stop at the smaller shops to see what they had. The bike was equipped with panniers so if I found something I liked, I could keep them warm while riding home. Once I got home and dropped off the fish, I'd head west to check out the shops there. And every so often my dad would drive me to Ed's Aquarium in Lynbrook, which was a real treat. Sadly, those exciting days are gone.