I have used my GDEMU clone for almost a year now. Will be a year in August, but it has worked great for myself. So if you can't get an official one, a clone is a smart choice if it is your last resort. In fact some new ones were going for $25 on eBay brand new earlier in the week! Just keep searching around.
After failing 4 times to get in on that pre-order, including last week. I am giving it one more shot before I just go the clone route. So it's satisfying to read people are happy with their clones.
He says the newest GD-USB update removes the expiration timer:
I still say I don't know if the timer was removed, because I never had a GD-USB ode to begin with so I can't verify either way. But he's now said to two different people in this topic, through email correspondence, that the expiration timer has been removed.
Burned bridges. Even if he did remove it, there are a whole lot of people who will longer trust him anymore.
My early clone is flawless, and for $70 I don't regret at all
Good to know, I did read some clones had the wrong crystal oscillator installed. Though, replacing it with the right one is pretty simple if you know basic soldering. I believe that is no longer the case though.