Doing a little internet and youtube research tonight. While I still have my place on the waiting list for a Halo, I also stumbled onto another new Hand Pan maker called "Bali Steel Pan". Not much to go on other than a website and a youtube channel. It looks like they're being made in Bali by a trio of builders. The youtube videos offer some insight. Current price looks to be $1050 (USD), plus shipping.
Meinl has their new 2011 Percussion Catalog online now. Not only is it an innovative way to present their 2011 product line, but it's also a gorgeous presentation.They are using Flash for the catalog, and I like the concept. Embedded in the catalog are videos of the new products, which demonstrate the sounds of the instrument. The only downside to the online catalog is that you need a high speed connection (either that or their web servers are overwhelmed at the moment) because it took a long time to load.
Here's some of the cool new instruments in the lineup (and just in time for NAMM):
Here's another new online sequencer, soon to be an app for Iphone. It's called "isle of Tune", and it uses an automotive motif to set your sequence in motion. You create roads, with cars. As the cars drive past various objects (houses, trees, lamp posts), different sounds are triggered. You set the sounds and tones of the various objects.