I think the idea that its easy to branch a gingerbread port from another device sounds the most likely, they will be looking at the lowest possible costs to get a phone ready and out to market.
Also the buying public and press seem to be happy for now if a manufacturer says that ics will come later. I would say by December most new phones will be ics by default so anyone who releases gingerbread will look very out of date.
Also who's not to say they aren't having device issues with ics? I still see plenty of ics ports for other phones with no working camera or mobile data, but a proper manufacturer can't release that, they'll probably be sued for all they are worth (apart from Sony when they released the arc s beta rom , but they told everyone it was broke).
Edited by FlatPackPete, 27 May 2012 - 07:52 AM.