I do think it is a real shame that startcoin pledging is not an option. I pledged with bitcoin via shapeshift in the end, but for a smaller amount than I was originally intending to (the conversion is wasteful and I didn't want to use TOO many of my startcoin just for an exchange site to absorb a profit)
There is some information here: http://wiki.nxtcrypto.org/wiki/Asset_Exchange and the client is available here: http://nxt.org/ - feel free to message me on startjoin if you need any advice, and I'll happily donate the NXT funds needed to issue the asset.
It is relatively easy and cheap to issue a digital asset on the NXT block chain (costs equivalent of a little under $10 USD at present prices).
I don't think this is a terrible solution, but I do think that there should be a formal update in the Updates tab. It's good that there is some communication, but there is a bit of a lack of proper updates.
Regarding cost, it would have made sense for the necessary coins to be sourced as the pledges were made (at least ever since the target $5000 was cleared).
1) The card and the pin slip were in the same envelope. 2) The instructions are to e-mail the pin to them - e-mail is not a secure means of communication and I have NEVER heard of this practice. 3) The pin slip not only contained the pin, but the full card number and expiry date were also printed on it. I will be attempting to phone in and ask about these matters once when their office is open. I hope that this is the end of the unprofessional conduct we see from ANX.