I'm a norwegian, and I've only been in US once, but I think there might be substantial differences in marketing tactics in Europe vs US. Some of it might be that laws for marketing differs, and some of it might just be culture.
The first thing I noticed that I thought was weird in the US, is this weird culture of having to add tax manually. Since you have to pay it anyway, tax should be added by the shop when pricing the item, not at the counter (well, that's how I feel about it). I don't know why americans do it this way, it just feels wrong.
Also, americans seems to have a fetish for coupouns. Often, substantial amounts could be saved by looking through some papers or brochures and cutting out coupouns. I think at least part of the reason this is not so common has to do with marketing legislation, although I am not to sure about the details. Sure, we have some coupons here as well, but I've never thought they were worth the trouble (and I'm a student, not someone with too much money to throw around, so you can draw your conclusions about the differences). I think this has something to do with marketing legislation (otherwise I am sure coupouns would be more common here as well), but I'm not to sure about the details.
I have never any kind of mail-in rebate here when shopping for computer equipment, but I've only bought three computers, so my experience might be a little limited. Although I guess this is another variation of the same theme. American legislation is a little bit more permissive to the whims of marketing people and their stupid schemes to lure people in with confusing pricing, and therefore more confusing marketing schemes appear.
Anyway, at least here in Norway, the most confusing pricing schemes seems to be in the tech-sector. Try to find out what a mobile phone costs, and you will first have to answer what kind of phone company to use, and what kind of contract you want with them (because they will subsidize your phone). Oh, better forget your old phone number, because you have to get a new contract to get them to subsidize it. Well, go figure...