Yes, I remember at release it was almost impossible to find a CE. I was in alpha and beta. I told my EQ guild at the time that I thought WoW would do well, but when we saw the sellout of 250,000 units, it was like... HOLY @(#*( We had no idea WoW would do THAT well. One of our EQ guildies in Canada bought up 7 CEs that no one seemed to care about locally and resold them on Ebay for 700$ each not 2 weeks after release. So, you could say that the original CE pets have never ever been cheap unless you pre-ordered or got lucky. In my town on release night they only had 3 copies in the store. None CE and several people walked out empty handed.
Granted, I am biased because I am completely overwhelmed by the cuteness that is the baby murlocs in Borean Tundra. If letting other people have access to my Frosty graphic nets me a baby murloc, oh HELL YES! I mean *cough* I'm just a nice person.