Almost two months ago I ordered 12 countersunk, stainless bolts from a company called McMaster-Carr in the states. I needed them to fasten my sprocket and rear brake disc to my PM rear wheel, which uses a really archaic bolt pattern and 7/16'' bolts. A month passed without any bolts arriving. Then a further two weeks. A call was placed and met with the suprising answer: "We cancelled your order due to export restrictions". "-Come again? Export restrictions? I wasn't aware that old imperial bolts were covered by some sort of non-proliferation treaty", I replied. "And why haven't you informed me of the cancellation?" Since the customer relations person at the other end couldn't give me a satisfactory answer, I hung up. Annoyed, to say the least.
Since McMaster-Carr were the ONLY source I could find for the bolts I needed (stainless 7/16'' contersunk must be the rarest bolts in the world), I had to resort to having them custom made. A company called Acme Stainless in the UK made the ones in the picture and had them sent to me within a week. The cost? £65 including postage. Aouch!