Here's the thing, Flash doesn't provide any crucial benefit that one really needs on the go (otherwise they'd have a laptop). Flash is used on the web for 2 things: games and ads. We don't like ads and games would better handled by the iPhone SDK. I can see why people are whining, but Flash serves little purpose on the iPhone besides sucking up battery life.
I am betting the price drop in Sept. took into account the fact that they would be making more money through revenue sharing which doesn't occur with unlocked phones. Apple is still probably very pissed that 30% of their iPhones aren't "official" to them. Promotes the idea of "why change carriers when you can unlock one yourself?".