Since I've begun my Eldar army, I've been poking around the relevant sections of the GW site a lot more. The Eldar kits themselves are beginning to show their age (more on this in the future) and its pretty obious that the Eldar range in general is missing some things. Notably a decent jetbike pricing option. Oh, and mounted warlocks.
Few things are more iconic for the Eldar than their jetbikes. Unfortunately, the model is fairly expensive for its size and age. 15 bucks a pop is a bit rough when you need a ton of them. On top of that, the cannon version costs $2o. No matter which way you slice it, 3 bikes with no options costs you $45 MSRP. Plus, there's no convienient box set that gives you a price break or ANY of the unit options.
At least with the Space Marine bike box, you get options for special weapons and options for command even if you don't get a price break. Hell, then there's always the Dark Angels bike box - fuck, for the cost of the 6 regular bikes, they throw in a free speeder and free attack bike. Oh, and did I mention that you get the parts you need to make the Master of the Ravenwing's super speeder? Even if you don't play Dark Angels, this is the way to get bikes.
HOWEVER, there is a way to save some scratch on your Eldar Jetbikers. For $41.25 MSRP, you get 3 bikes in the often overlooked Shining Spear box. A savings of $3.75 on three bikes may not be much, but its a start. Plus you get a ton of metal bits - enough to make a warlock on a bike. As an added bonus, the Shining Spear box is also still available through your favorite 3rd party retailer. Often at the standard 20% discount.
This is all possible through some oversight on GW's part and the fact that this is the jet bike sprue (image shamelessly grabbed from Way of Saim-Hann):
There is no way for GW to sell you a riderless version of this sprue. So for less than the cost of three regular jetbikes, you get 3 jetbikes + a bunch of metal parts that can be used for all kinds of stuff. Pretty sweet deal. Keep that in mind next time you're filling out your jetbike squads.
Now, if only GW would hurry up and release this new version of the jetbike: