It is sort of funny that all these stations are in HD now, and I know it's a requirement by the FCC to have these HD stations up by whatever date. Me being a tech nerd, was interested in finding a reasonably priced HD radio, I know I can't get one cheap but maybe in the $200-$400 range...strangely there is only one portable HD radio on the market? Do you think that is sort of strange? Let me know!
So far, there is no FCC mandate to have everyone converted by a certain date. With the mandatory and perpetual licensing fees that must be paid by stations to iBiquity for HDRadio, I doubt that will ever come. That would practically amount to a new tax on broadcasters paid to a non-government entity.
I bought the Boston Acoustics Receptor HD and I'm happy with it. It's small, but it's not truly portable. It's more or less a decent table radio that's small in size but uses a lot of DSP audio tricks that fool your ears into thinking you're listening to a much larger set of speakers. I think the Receptor is retailing at the $299 price point now and if your market has HDRadio you should be able to get it at Radio Shack. If not, you can get it at Crutchfield.com.
I haven't really been keeping up with the other players in the HD game. Radiosophy is supposed to have a portable unit that uses a docking station like a lot of the satellite radios do, but I'm not sure if it's shipping yet or not.
I don't find it "strange" that supply of radios is limited. So far, the number of stations broadcasting in HD is limited so consumer demand isn't all that great. Large consumer electronics companies aren't willing to dump a lot of design and manufacturing money into HD until they're sure they can see a return on their investment. I did get to sit in on a presentation from one of the guys at iBiquity at NAB though, and I'm fairly confident it's coming. I think we'll see more HDRadio products in the form of car stereos than anything else.
My personal belief after hearing HD is that it's not really an improvement in sound quality over ordinary FM. It has that potential if adoption ever becomes great enough that the analog part of the signal can be turned off and that bandwidth can be used to increase the HD bitrate. Where it shows promise right now is multicasting. If listeners learn they can pick up an additional 30 to 60 free audio feeds in any given market, then it will catch on and manufacturers will start cranking out the radios.