So I had to look for alternatives. I asked around, and when someone mentioned Techcase, I replied that I was not impressed with their service.
It turns out that the person who made that suggestion is the sales manager of Techcase. In fact, he is the exact same person the organiser made the deal with! He contacted me privately, because he wanted to know what was up. He forwarded me the correspondence between him and the organiser -- turns out that the price of everything was only just over &eruo;5100, while the pooled money amounted to just under €6000! He also said that the firing story was complete bullshit (he has an email adress @techcase.de and he runs the EpiaCenter.com website). Another detail: Techcase never received the money!
The whole buyer's combination system is based on trust -- and I don't trust that organiser any further than I can throw him. I do not wish to go public with this information, because part of it is private and I can't publish it, but I do want the members of the group to know that the organiser sat on our money for two months and that Techcase is not to blame! I asked the sales manager to publish the information somewhere, and that I would point the members of the group to that location. So far, he hasn't done so, but I sure hope he does.
Anyway, the sales manager asked me to retract my negative statement about Techcase (which, of course, I did), and offered me to look over any EPIA-based shopping list I wanted to submit to him. Of course, I took him up on his offer, and he offered me a discount of over 12%!
I'm really impressed with the lengths Techcase goes to to keep me happy -- I also noticed that they don't have an entry in their Tweakers.net shop survey. I'll be sure to leave a glowing review of 'em when the transaction is completed!