Just a comment about acceptance of Russian aircraft into American markets. I agree that the mindset is one of caution, until an aircraft can prove itself over time. At the moment, proven aircraft exist to fill the needs of American carriers from Airbus and Boeing.
Were the Russians to prove the reliability, comfort and cost-effectiveness of the IL-96 in day to day operations, they may well find a market for such an aircraft, if the airlines can get it for significantly less than comparable aircraft from A or B.
Public acceptance is a significant obstacle, but I would say that most Americans are well aware that Russia is capable of building exceptional equipment, be it aircraft, rockets, or software. If United settled on the IL-96 tomorrow, and it promised greater comfort, a level of safety comparable to the newest from A & B, while at the same time allowing for cheaper airfares and greater airline profitability, most folks could care less where it was made. Not to mention the fact that every airplane enthusiast in the country would beat a path to their door for a ride on the inaugural flight. =)
It would be great to see the Russian aviation industry grow to be a significant force in western aviation. Their planes are just too interesting to be limited to Russian and eastern european carriers. Go Ilyushin!