Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts here. As far as our perspective on the availability of direct checkout and the ability to accept gift cards for sellers outside of the US as well as promotion that's focused on countries other than the US, Marc covers these topics pretty well with these posts:
We also provided some updated information about what we have been and will be working on for countries outside of the US here:
Without getting too stuck in the use of metaphor (I know it's been tricky in this thread!), I know that it's disappointing to sellers who would really like to offer direct checkout to their buyers to not be able to do so. We feel this pretty acutely too, and it's really important for us both a) to offer it to as many people as we can but b) to get it right which, as has been said by several folks in this thread, can potentially take a lot of work depending upon the regulations of each country.
Lastly, we try to serve as many members of the Etsy community as we can with the features that we offer on the site - buyers and sellers alike. Not everyone will necessarily be able to take equal advantage of every project we undertake for the site, and with as broad of a community as we have that's unavoidable; ask a supply seller and a highly stylized art doll creator what their needs and wants are and you'll find a lot of differences among their similarities. We know that you want to offer the choice of DC to your buyers; we want you to be able to offer it as well, and it's something that we're actively working on.