So couple things:
- the pi runs and boots fine. I've tested the camera with it, wrote a quick python program testing the pin outs and have it recording pics and videos on a button push
- I applied the heat sinks when it arrived before I noticed the misplaced headers. This is the 3rd pi I've got, and the packaging seemed normal. Small white box with the logo and instruction sheet. It is the first one I've got through Amazon (first 2 were through canakit). The seller did offer to return it, but... I kind of like it
- the serial number from cpuinfo: 0000000005279555 , revision a020d3, hardware BCM2835
- attached picture of the qr code on the back
It's really intriguing to me, as a person who works in manufacturing, so whatever theories you guys have or ideas keep 'em coming.