Dan E of PSP Updates recently visited a mall in the Philippines to get a first-hand look at how the not-so-underground piracy scenes operate in the Third World:
There were hundreds of technology shops in the mall, cell phone bazaars, PC, PS2, Xbox software, and of course the PSP services. Just to get a feel of what is offered: you have the option to upgrade your PSP, downgrade your PSP, buy ISOs and have them loaded with UMD emulator (and other varieties of such loaders), and get free ISOs with the purchase of a memory stick duo. The prices varied for ISOs, with some stores charging Php150-350 per ISO: the equivalent of USD$3-$7, and the price of a real UMD comparatively USD$50-$60, depending on where you go.
He says he didn't buy any ISOs but he did pay $10 to have his PSP upgraded from 1.50 to 2.0 and then down to 1.50 again just to see how well the upgrade/downgrade services worked. He notes that PSPs with different firmware versions sell for different prices: "PSP with firmware 2.60 sells at approximately $230USD, while a 1.50 will fetch an extra $80-120USD". Lots of photos of the upgrade/downgrade process but they're kind of boring, and so we wish he'd posted more photos of the shops and their various wares and advertisements.
PSP Piracy Around the World [PSP Updates, thanks Jake!]