I was disappointed to see the disparity, but not surprised. We are a different market with different consumer laws, and that’s just the start of it for electronic items.
Unlike you, I’m not bowled over by Alexa. There is a lot of half baked functionality built into the UK version. No IFTTT, no shopping. It seems to have been rushed to marked.
As an example, ask Alexa to find you music from a particular artist. She tells you that she’ll play the most popular tunes for that artist, you can skip, or if you want to buy a track or an album just ask her.
Immediately after the description there’s an error sound and she says “I’m not sure I can help you with that”, and then silence.
I’m sure these features will come, but it just might not have been ready for market yet.
If I’d paid £150, I’d be sending mine back now and waiting for Google Home. The presentation looked amazing, and I rate my Android for voice recognition over Alexa any day of the week.