"Finally, this in no way constitutes price fixing, as explained it just ensures that the customers recognize the market value of the product in printed advertising."
What generally regulates market value are the laws of supply and demand. If an item is only worth $10.00 to the consumer, then the item sells for only $10.00, even the average moron, such as I, can see that. When consumer demand for an item over runs the ability for the producer to produce, ship, and stock it's wares, then the value of the item goes up. A good example of this is Chris Reeve bumping up the price for the Sebenza. Being the sole manufacturer of a high demand item, and having limited resources to produce his knife, he saw fit to raise the price for it, and I have yet to hear of any complaints over it, and most people tell me it's worth the price.
What your company is attempting to do is artificially alter the value perception of your wares. By playing to the "if it costs more, it must be better" tendencies of the average consumer, you are falsely changing the value of your items. You are also hindering competition between dealers by making them stick to your pricing schedule for advertising purposes, a consumer has less of an idea of whom to purchase their knife from. Also, the advertised price is generally the deciding factor in any purchase, I usually do not purchase items from dealers who stick to the MSRP or the MAAP because, even here in Alaska, nothing sells for MSRP, if you look you will always get a better deal.
Companies and dealers offering poor service tend to weed themselves out, alienating themselves from the consumer by offering little or no service etc., and thus you do not need to try and cull from the herd just to up the percieved value of your knives.
"In no way, did we feel that this was a necessary step needed to maintain brand loyalty or quality perception."
This contrasts with your last statement when you said "it just ensures that the customers recognize the market value of the product in printed advertising."
Most people would agree that brand loyalty and quality perception go hand in hand with market value. A good example of this is the Yugo...I have only seen one..And I know that they don't sell them anymore..I think that this is because most people believed that the Yugo was junk...but I might be wrong.
"Instead, it provided information that many would normally not have available when making purchases."
All it tells me is that you guys are jerks, and that you have lost touch with the average consumer. If this is the case, you will soon loose touch with your market share.
"It also ensures that the ELU recognizes that each company chooses to do business in a different way, which provides for different overhead requirements (cost of doing business)."
How companies do business has quite alot to do with the purchasing decisions of consumers. I don't drink Budweiser, or goto Busch Gardens because of their company's continuing assault on our second ammendment rights. I don't like companies that use COMMUNIST tactics to artificially alter the value of their products.
"It is Spyderco's intention to build long lasting relationships with all of our customers: distributors, dealers and the ELU's."
Our relationship has become onesided, and abusive. I want a divorce.
I am glad I gave my last Spyderco away....Good riddance to socialist rubbish.