lucy24 - 7:48 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)
If you don't say R=301 it will default to 302 (temporary redirect). You want 301.
In this context the trailing $ doesn't matter because Regular Expressions are greedy by default and will gobble up as much as they can. The $ is only needed when you need to constrain the rewrite to some specific ending.