I found out today a little more information about the .im domain situation I was talking about. I heard back from the guy selling the peel.im domain about the price he was asking for, and also heard back from the registrars about their policy on reserving names relating to some places but not other.
If you're interested in buying the domain for Peel, Isle of Man - peel.im - then you are looking at paying around $1000 (he's "willing to let this one go pretty cheaply"). That's only about 11 times the price it was purchased for. It does seem a shame to have this domain taken away from the people of Peel, and it's a shame that it was allowed to happen, but perhaps he's not broken any of the rules.
It's not for me to say what's right or not about the registering of that domain, but I would like to help prevent it happening to other domains that relate to place names on the Isle of Man. The registry inform me that the place name domains that appeared to have been reserved have not been reserved because they are placenames, but because they have been offered to the owners of the third level domains (e.g. castletown.im reserved for the owners of castletown.org.im) who have until the end of September to claim their domain (costing only £5 initially). After that date, if the second level domains haven't been taken on by the owners of the corresponding third level domain then the domains will be released to the public.
With no policy in place to hold back the names of towns and villages that hadn't previously been registered, I think it's important that something be done to protect them.
Perhaps there should be more publicity on the Island (not being there at the moment, I don't know what publicity there has been already) to convince local authorities that they should invest in their name on the internet. Perhaps for some places, names should be reserved by Isle of Man Tourism or by Manx National Heritage. If these organisations don't pick up on their relevant domains, perhaps there should be a sort of Open Domain project to help protect those domains? I'd donate a domain to that sort of project if others were to do it too.
[stepping down from my soapbox for now]