Personally, I would think it wise to wait until the A380 flies to order. If it does not perform as expected, which is entirely possible, it will be a fiasco of the highest order. Not only for the airlines in question, but for Airbus especially; a dramatic failure may even mean the end of Airbus all together.
What is known about the A380 is that it is currently having issues with weight and fuel consumption (projected). While I have no doubt that these will either be solved or reduced to the point of insignificance eventually, they are still problems that need to be addressed. The airlines are looking at the bottom dollar in everything.
I wish Airbus and the A380 well. I am VERY skeptical about it's performance. One thing that can be said for certain is: That there will by no bars, gyms, movie theaters, nurseries, shopping malls, or anything else of that nature. What the aircraft will have is lots of economy class seats squeezed as tightly as is possible. What would you say to a 3+4+4 configuration?
Lets take a minute to remember the MD11. This aircraft delivered or surpassed every design goal (except range and fuel consumption). I love to fly in it, and have on many occasions. It is one of the most comfortable aircraft... Yet it was only a marginal success. The A380 better be more than just marginal; If the A380 is even a marginal success, it will be branded publicly as a dismal failure regardless of how advanced an aircraft it is.
All this talk of a sidestick vs. Control yoke is so totally irrelevant in the long run. If Airbus (or Boeing) were really smart, they would offer both. The airlines would be able to choose if they wanted a yoke or stick. Who cares, as it's all digitally driven anyhow; we're not speaking of B707s and DC-8s.
My prediction: Thai will be able to use it's A380 fleet in only the most restricted routes. If this plane flies at 75% capacity as a norm - it will be a total failure - and this cannot be stressed enough.
Why do you think the B747 was withdrawn from many of its former routes and replaced by smaller aircraft? Overcapacity. This is exactly what will happen with the A380. It will be efficient and profitable: NYC - LON or NYC - FRA
, perhaps even LON - MIA
... but other than that it will be too large. If you have 450 seats, with only 350 occupied... you are not being profitable.
Just my thoughts...