Your're assuming that those outside the UK were ever able to access the RS and Farnell sites. As it turned out, neither RS nor Farnell were accessible in North America (NA) for most of February 29th (and intermittently for the next several days). Farnell initially required a physical address and business in the UK (even the city had to be selected from a pop-up menu - no write-ins allowed, even the submitted postal code had to match the selected city), and not even an e-mail address could be entered without a valid snail-mail address. RS's site initially attempted to allow pre-orders, and by the time they fell back to just accepting e-mail addresses for "interest", their site had long since become inaccessible from NA.
Unless one happened to get on Twitter and find out when RS's and Farnell's partner's (Allied and Newark, respectively, in NA) sites were eventually acknowledging the existence of the Pi, it could have been many hours, if not days, before a pre-order could be submitted from NA (and most other parts of the world, I suspect). Soon after Allied's and Newark's sites finally did start accepting pre-orders, they essentially became victims of the unintentional distributed denial of service attack (it was at least four hours after the launch started, but, I couldn't get into either site for at least six hours). In both cases, one had to create an account, and both sites were finicky about things like minimum password length and composition with letters, numbers, etc., customer ID with no spaces, dashes, or underscores allowed, and so forth.
So, the variance in order acquisitions between distributors was much more complicated, as both RS and Farnell had partners with sites in each country/region, each with widely differing abilities to allow pre-ordering or expressing interest, as well as keeping up with access demand. There is still no clear connection between the distributors' and their partners' ordering systems, as the order numbers, customer IDs, etc., are not recognized across the distributors'/partners' sites, at least at the customer's level of visibility, and the e-mails from the respective distributors/partners provide no clues, either.
It will be interesting to see if things get any better once educational institutions are able to order systems in bulk (with cases, power supplies, pre-loaded SD cards, USB hubs, Ethernet hubs/switches, cables, etc., complicating the situation).
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close!
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!