That's the problem. I bought it on ebay on a buy-it-now through paypal.
It's not the seller's fault. He sold it in good faith. It was my own fault for assuming that MSI was selling more or less what they showed at CES.
I thought the only reason I had to wait almost 4 months for release was the p67 sata2 issue. I wasn't expecting a radical change in how PCIe was implemented.
I considered returning it but I don't see much in the way of other options for more PCIe slots capable of 4x or better. As I stated, PCIe1x is pretty much useless as almost any peripheral requiring that little bandwidth is integrated on the MB. It was the Hydra chip that made the difference by adding 16 PCIe lanes. Even than it took a little extra engineering to get all 8 slots running at 8x, as explained in this review:http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/mother ... -preview/2
Luckily, the BBM has 10 onboard USB3.0 ports and if that's not enough, I can always use PCIe1x USB3.0 cards for connecting old-fashioned mechanical HDDs which won't be bottlenecked too badly by the 128MB/s reads and 100MB/s writes. SATA3 is already pretty much obsolete so it's not really an issue. It's too slow for modern SSDs (or at least next year's SSDs) and SATA2 is plenty fast enough for HDDs and optical drives.
Other than the PCIe issue, it's basically a very good mainboard, with three switchable BIOS chips, excellent power regulation, better-than-average chipset cooling, excellent onboard audio, lots of connectivity and easy overclockability. I'm proud of my 100% positive feedback on eBay and don't want to lose it over a squabble over a buy-it-now which wasn't the seller's fault. By the time I paid for return shipping and all my wasted time in dealing with the return, I wouldn't be any further ahead.
I'm just disappointed with MSI's dishonesty in this. I've always sworn by Asus, Abit and Intel MBs but Abit is dead and Intel tends to be shy on enthusiast extras and peripheral connectivity. I thought I'd give MSI a shot when I saw what they'd done with the BBM and its Lucid Hydra. Never too old to be taught a lesson I guess.