I see that catch-22, Leo. Has anybody experiences if backordering actually works? I have one backorder at "Huge Father", and they sent me a few change notices in the past. The domain (the .com-equivalent of our .de) is due in July again. We'll see...
I doubt however that (at least in 2005/2006) there is a "one size fits all" contractor for country TLD's. I think there might be a specialist or two who work wonders for co.uk and ie, but are a complete failure for .au or .fr. Others might be good for .be while failing at .nz.
In the long run, you will probably see some who are good at the top-10 or top-20 country TLD's. Probably the "usual suspects" for com/net/org.
We are based in the UK and active in The UK Spain, Italy France Holland and Germany.
We have tried some dropcacthing companies and in the main have not found them satisfactory. Also it's more difficult (or impossible) to catch domains in some countries and some countries have residency requirements.
So much so that we are now making a big investment (for us) in programming our own system to do it.
I'm not sure that is of much help but I really can't get more positive about them.