I have done some random sampling of available NNNNN.com's and it looks like my predictions that about 1/2 of NNNNN.com's bought in the buyout last year would be renewed was accurate. After looking at 5 samples of 500 random NNNNN.com's, the result was that 9.6% were unregistered. The margin of error in this sampling is 1.94.
Not surprisingly, NNNNN.com's that start with "0" had the highest percentage unregistered. I did 3 samples of 500 random NNNNN.com's starting with 0, and the result was that 16.5% were unregistered. The margin of error here is 2.33.
As of the end of January 2008, there were 19,346 NNNNN.com's unregistered. Now it appears there are only around 10,000. If anyone is looking for signs of long-term strength in the NNNNN.com market, I think this is a pretty good one. Despite a severe recession and the collapse of the buyout, many people still seem to understand the value in these domains. It is still to early to tell whether registrations of NNNNN.com's are going to continue to move in a positive direction, but this news should be somewhat encouraging to those who are holding for the long-term.