I fully agree, and we owe the TTN team much kudos for actually delivering what they promised. Designing, manufacturing and distributing a hardware product at these volumes for the first time is nothing less than a significant feat to accomplish.
I think the only missteps happened in the planning and communication, which seems to have been neglected. The logistics/VAT issue is something that could have been communicated much earlier, and maybe even a solution could have been found before the gateways actually started shipping. And if not, perhaps the added value of the network and the disruption TTN has caused could have been a better justification for the extra costs. Judging from the typos and the rather bizarre suggestions in Wienkes posts, it looks like the communication about this seems to be done hastily. Maybe the focus of the team has shifted to something else?
Amazon has special arrangements with many of the European national post services. This includes wavering of customs declaration fees, but e.g. also the wavering of signing of tracked deliveries by the addressee and a very lenient reimbursement/redelivery service if your package did not arrive.