Hate to bump an old thread, and NO this is not me trolling/complaining about Sony--in fact, I just got Killzone 2 and am loving the hell out of it! I'm posting this as I'm curious as to what exact PS3 model I have as did notice something odd after finding out more about the different PS3 models...
The PS3 I received back (I got a refurb back after sending in my May '08 MGS4 CECHE01 model) is labeled as a CECHE01 with a May 07 build date. One other odd thing to note was that there's a new sticker over a corner of where the HDD access port is, and it's numbered 0518290CECHE01 and in the bottom right corner is 'REP'. So perhaps they did take a different unit like an old 40GB and slap an 80GB drive in it and called it an E01?
According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3) the CECHE01 was not even available until August 07! This leaves only two possibilities--
1) Sony was manufacturing CECHE01's prior to when they were first available. This makes a lot of sense, I must admit.
2) Sony sent me a different model (CECHA01?) and it's in a CECHE01 box.
The only difference I can see is that one PS3 has true PS2 hardware support and the other uses software emulation. What would be the easiest way to test it? What's a cheap PS2 game that doesn't work on the CECHE01 box but does on the A01? Or is there a way to get the PS3 to tell you what model it is from inside the systems menus?