Just curious but as niche manufacturers how many production staff do the likes of Lenz and Digitrax and such like typically employ?
What I am saying is that I don't think the niche digital manufacturers are capable of producing in the quantities and at prices that the European train set manufacturers require.
Hornby may well end up fitting decoders to 100,000 or more locomotives in 2007 and produce 500,000 stand alone decoders for sale just for the UK. That could be more than the entire Lenz production worldwide!
Hornby will offer a mass market product available at 1000's of outlets with limited choice and at a competive price. Lenz and others will offer a more specialised wider range of product with features aimed at the modeller who wants more and from a limited number of specialised outlets.
The niche manufacturers will benefit from the wide visibility that DCC will have in the UK as modellers will be curious to see what else is available once they have their kit and start playing.