Brian is right, the scalpers are not entirely to blame for some figures being so hard to find. Hasbro is the first to blame, its been almost 10 years since POTF2 came out one the red cards, if you look around, either online retailers, or eBay, the vast majority of these figures are not worth squat....Why because Hasbro flooded the retailers with them, there is simply so much of it out there, almost none of the figures are in demand. (except for a few varations i.e. Luke SS/LT or the whole Fett circle hand thing.) So Hasbro, trying to keep the line freash, gos to the green card, once again most are not worth squat. Now that the line has been out for a few years, Hasbro is starting to respond to the collectors crys of making new figures that are accurate, and "non-buff". Now comes the new sculpts in the FF line, the Vader w/ removable helmet, DS trooper etc.... Well this was late 97-98 not very long for a toy line, and Hasbro now had to worry about EPI that was right around the corner, so what did they do, reissue the collection 3 blue card FF last, and short packed were the FF Sandtrooper, and Weequay the ladder being so rare on a US card its gos for $300-500.00. So far the scalpers really havent impacted prices too much.
Now we have EPI, I'm sure that everyone who collects rembers seeing this stuff in the metric tons, as a matter of fact, I still see it on the pegs once in a while 5 years later. Once again the same thing, the last of the EPI stuff i.e. Queen w/ battle gun, and R2-B1, TC-14 etc. are hard to find because the retailers dont want anymore of this stuff littering there pegs. Hasbro also thinks its a good idea to release some green card com chip figures, and these too become HTF because the first wave, of Greedos and Hans, and Lukes are clogging the pegs.
So after the beating the retailers took on EPI merch they didnt order much POTJ stuff, but this line is Hasbros saveing grace, except for a few exclusives and the MOTDS 2 pack. There were no really HTF figures. This line moved well and never really seemed to staginate on the pegs. This is my best liked line of SW so far.
Enter EPII, just like EPI, retailers were flooded w/ this stuff again, I still see Tuskin Raiders w/ kid w/ the background card. The Saga line has been rather easy to find as a whole IMO, except for a few figures here and there i.e.- Ephant Mon, concept Stormtrooper, Emperor, etc. They really havent been too hard to find, even J'Quill, I've left on the peg more than one time.
Now with the OTC line, being out less than a year before EPIII, I have a fealling that the last of this line will be HTF at retail, not because there will be a great demand from collectors, but once again the retailers will not want to order much of this stuff with the EPIII on its way. And the last of the OTC stuff will be repacks anyway, so alot of collectors will not want it anyway
My point is that scalpers, (and what pisses me off more than that is the salad tossing card benders) do complicate the hunt for new figures, but sometimes you can beat them at there own game and get entire collection of figures for $2-3.00 per figure off the bay. So you got to take the good w/ the bad and accept that its part of the hobby.