Several sources are reporting that the entire initial shipment of both the stereo version and the limited edition mono version of The Beatles box set has been sold. On pre-orders alone.

For the mono version of the collection, that means crazed Beatles fans bought significantly north of 10,000 copies at a list price of $298.98.

Man somebody is seriously cleaning up here and the remastered albums haven’t even hit the streets yet.

Entertainment Weekly’s Simon Vozick-Levinson, a Beatles fan of the first order, was, needless to say, a little distraught when he tried to pre-order his copy.

“For true Beatles obsessives, the Sept. 9 release of all the band’s albums as a lovingly remastered box set is a huge deal. Sure, it’s expensive, but this is arguably music’s greatest catalog, finally brought properly into the CD era, sounding better than ever, with awesome-looking packaging to boot. So I happily went to last week to file my pre-order – only to learn that I was already too late.”

A rep for Amazon told Vozick-Levinson the site would “be receiving more inventory after release date.” The writer’s response is probably typical of many excited Beatlephiles.

After release date? Are you kidding me, Amazon?! You expect me to spend 9/09/09 sitting around listening to something other than this box set?”

Fortunately for Vozick-Levinson and other fans, EMI told him they’re manufacturing more of the limited edition mono sets, as well as the stereo set, which will be a regular catalog item.

Of course if you simply can’t wait until EMI is able to restock Amazon and other retailers and you absolutely must be the first one on your block to own the mono set, you can always head over to eBay, where you can pick one up for the princely sum of $495.

Okay, lets get serious here. I’m as guilty as the next semi-obsessed fan about needing to have all of my favorite band’s albums and singles in every format possible. In fact, my house has a Eurythmics wing. But just how much better can these remastered recordings be?

Or as a co-worker in the office who’s been known to succumb to Beatlemania on occasion put it, “I bought the mono records, then the stereo records, then the 8-tracks, then the cassettes and then the CDs. I’d be interested in hearing them, but…”

So readers, what do you think? When is it time to say “Thanks but no thanks” to another format or reissue?

For the record, The Beatles Stereo Box Set includes all 13 studio albums plus the 33-track Past Masters collection, as well as a DVD containing all 13 of the mini-documentaries that accompany each remastered album, and retails for $259.98.

The Beatles Mono Box Set includes 10 albums that were originally recorded in mono, as well as a Mono Masters collection that features all the mono tracks that appeared on singles and EPs or that never made it onto the 13 Beatles albums. Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be are not included, since they were all originally recorded in stereo.