1) they all buy domains is varying bulk quantities. It takes $100k to get approved to be a domain registrar, then they get charged per domain on a sliding bulk scale. So, it's up to each registrar to optimize their biz model for the lowest price and roi. Some also offer different degrees of support and service that can affect their cost per domain. 2) Updating the local db can take time. They download the Zone access files from verisign at different times each day. Some registrars do it once an hour, others twice a day. The zone files and related whois info from Network Sol are huge beasts (a gig zipped). 3) Appears so. I don't see the Icann tag on their site, so I'd assume they are buying in bulk from an approved registrar. That 100k entry fee is steep. 4) There is another thread around here where we ran down many of the better ones. (sorry don't see it in the list right now).