Samples are meant for designers of an electronics product: they can get samples of the parts for free, so that they can use them in their designs and prototypes. When the design is then mass-produced, the producer of the sampled wares will recoup the costs because of the sales of the parts involved. My designs aren't going to be mass-produced, so the money the producers spend on sending me the samples is, in essence, lost and down the drain.
However, as a hobbyist, there is no way I can get these specialised ICs reasonably cheap, or even at all! As such, I am 'forced' to use sampling to acquire the ICs I want/need for my project. I hate it when the things I want fall in between the cracks of the system.
I wish there was a place that stocked up on ICs like that. It is probably quite uneconomical to stock large quantities of ICs that are not that popular, and the shipping costs would be quite high as well, methinks.
Also, those chips from Maxim that I received today are OMGsmall! I better wait until I get my soldering station with SMD tip before I try to tackle that one.