Same for me.. ordered 2 blackbirds 1 year ago (to give one to my brother) and had an excellent service from Brandon... I didnt/never ordered at xmas time so never had problem with delay and such. About email.. its 1 guy against the world (forums members and +)
The key so far, is not having a timeline.. not always possible but when your not in a rush, you order, fo'get 'bout it then BAM! a new toy in the mail!
If the SF isnt ready.. i'll go into the wild with my old tarp, if that plan fail, i'll take my el-cheapo-heavy-camo-9$-canadian-tire-tarp and still go in the wild.. if that plan fail, i'll go with just a knife and build a shelter with some trees