I haven't weighed in, and I think I will try and do so in as unbiased of a fashion as possible. I just want to throw out a few points to think about.
1.) There was some suggestion about having a few intermediaries in different parts of the world hoping that could reduce shipping.
a) In my understanding most OTTI's so far have not been prepackaged by the vendors, and are actually all separated and weighed out, and packaged by Chip. There would likely need to be a more critical mass in any one given area than we are likely to get unless the OTTI program vastly increases in size for this to seem reasonable. As it is often hard to ship a majority of orders "twice" and come out ahead of just shipping them once from the main location. Not to mention even in Europe which I think is best represented behind North America in OTTI participation, I am not sure they have gotten a critical mass on most ( if any) otti's to even account for the ability for the vendor to send straight to a designated person in Europe to repackage themselves.
b) Also when I was newer on the forum, box passes were all the rage. In which a group of people would all sign up, a shipping order would be established, and a box would make its rounds in which each person could drink some tea in the box, but before they shipped it on, they needed to add some items to the box. Well there is a reason why you do not see any of those any more. So many of them went "missing." Which gets to the point that sometimes life happens, whether unintentionally or maliciously, things happen.
2) While I am all for affordability for all, is not geography dependent on so many factors in life? I am willing to bet a lot more people would be willing to live in the Wilderness for the beauty, if they still had all the amenities, services, and access that a city or suburbs provide. I guess that is a little tangential to what I am actually trying to say, but on a certain level very few to no vendors, especially "not for profit" ones can really afford to subsidize shipping by disregarding in some sense where each customer is from. I should look this up before I say it, but I am pretty sure even the USPS "Flat rate boxes" are only flat rate to the continuous 48 states, and they are the U.S. Postal Service I mean last time I checked Hawaii and Alaska are in the U.S.A. I don't think Chip wants to be viewed this way, but the whole shipping issue seems to be magically resolved if Chip is willing to consider himself a vendor.