Oh, I appreciate that it was a cunning and orchestrated way of stopping the momentum!
And it was in the interests of the Trademark Lobby for the NewTLD juggernaut to be messed up.
The pre-registration of .info names was a provision to consumers, promoted by 95% of all accredited registrars, and ALL the registrar companies represented on the Board of the Afilias cartel.
They SOLD a provision to consumers - which was the opportunity to take part in a lottery for ALL those names which were not reserved by eligible (Trademark-owning) applicants in the .info Sunrise.
The same companies (like DomainBank) who SOLD pre-registrations to customers, then went ahead and BROKE THE AFILIAS RULES by SELLING the names again, this time to Sunrise customers like Lorenz, and the registrars then made INELIGIBLE applications in breach of the Afilias ruleswhich required mandatory data in 4 TM fields.
To demonstrate: in the case of 98 domains requested by the hapless Lorenz, in the four mandatory data fields there was no eligible data -
TM country: None
TM name: None
TM date: None
TM number: None
DomainBank then charged Lorenz IRO $15000 to sponsor his applications in breach of the Afilias rules (which given Lubsen's connection with both DomainBank AND with Afilias, of which he was CEO, was pretty staggering).
Lorenz, notified by others that his names were ineligible, requested them deleted for release to pre-registrants. But Afilias declined to do so.
To demonstrate: as a DomainBank pre-registrant (among others) I pre-registered a name and paid to have that name submitted in the 'lottery'.
DomainBank then SOLD that name to Lorenz, and submitted it in breach of the rules.
Normal rules, and the Agreement, had by that time been abandoned in favour of "almost anything goes".
You say that pre-registrants never had a guarantee of getting a particular name. Absolutely right! What they were paying for was a chance to participate in an industry-wide lottery, for all names which were not fairly distributed in a fair Sunrise under properly implemented Agreements.
In the event, the ICANN-Registry Agreement was so weak that this reasonable expectation was destroyed as the scheme descended into chaos. Intelligent and reasonable solutions (such as 'The Simple Solution' and 'The Domebase Solution') could have safeguarded both genuine Trademark holders and Landrush Pre-registrants... but Afilias and ICANN determined to put the "proof of concept" ahead of consumer protection.
All in all, what you had was an industry-wide travesty, with a large number of people suffering financial loss because of failures to implement and uphold the Agreements, and because of the failure of the Agreements themselves.
The registrars collectively SOLD a product, then allowed that product to be undermined and unworkable, through cheating, through non-governance, through failed Agreements, through breach of Agreement, and through refusal to put things right when it was in their powers to put it right.
THAT, my friend, is fraud and deception.
As the resigning Afilias Director, Robert Connelly, said at the time, the Landrush customers had been abandoned because of a Sunrise fiasco which he called "an abomination".
But the ICANN inaction, the Afilias refusal to intervene, the abuse of the rules by both Registry and Registrars...
Fraud and deception.