it would make sense for them to do a cheap/free device because ntohign gets users like a fire sale, think of the amount of hp/palm WebOS tabs that flooded the market after they went on sale. if amazon wants to keep competing with thier app store. i knwo i for one use the amazon app store more than the google play store not because of lack of apps but often jailbreaking a device i can still use amazon appstore. liek withmy levono K1 its a little older tablet and had android 3.2, but rooting it to load 4.0 meant google play would not load on the device hence being stuck with one option. they keep allowing all devices and make a free-cheap device like they have with the kindle fire series and i think they will have a winner
Unfortunately for HP, the TouchPad fire sale was because the tablets were not selling, and HP announced they were discontinuing WebOS devices only 50 days after the touchpad went on sale and cutting their losses. Not really a positive decision.
Did you ever try to follow up with your K1 and other ROM's? That's such a weird thing to experience, surely someone in the mod community figured it out? Another option--a bit more laborious--is something I did when I had my KFHD; some apps I used I wanted from the GPlay store (vs. the amazon app store)--perhaps because I purchased a full version from GPlay, or because the app wasn't available in the amazon app store. So I had the app on my phone (or other android device), and with Astro File Manager I'd back up the .apk for the apps I wanted to xfer (this is an option in Astro), and then shared it with dropbox. I had dropbox side-loaded on the KFHD, and after that I could just install the GPlay app apk's on my KFHD. A bit of a process, but it allowed having the non-amazon app store apps available on my KFHD when I had it (got rid of it after a few months).