Whilst waiting for the accursed TG to finally open up Jan 2013 (and for that matter for EK's booking engine to start working). I've been playing with the "travel" sites - opodo, expedia, travelocity etc to see if there's a little bargain out there.
Expedia is useless, they aren't even allowing booking for mid-December yet, never mind for the start of January
The ever useful ITAmatrix (which doesn't allow you to book) is up to the end of December, so there's some hope yet. ITAmatrix also seems to show an interesting LH/SQ/TG/LX combo within budget - although I'm not sure I want to end my trip on the little Fokker.
Travelocity is worse than useless. They return flights, lots of them, every single one of which has an outbound on GayLM to AMS, followed by a flight to Melbourne on China Southern in Economy via CAN (Guangzhou to you). 30+ results, every single one of them with that deeply undesirable flight in the wrong class of service at the start of the trip.
Kayak handles my request well, but offers nothing exciting, well-priced or special, it's mainly OneWorld love with hundreds of permutations and combinations around a BA/QF theme.
Opodo I've had some success with in the past and this time it's got two blinders.
The first is a discounted ticket on SQ, all the way. It's a published fare and it's in First/Suites, it has two segments of Whalejet action and two segments of 77W action. It's got the right times and the right dates. It's also really rather discounted, but it's still £500 over budget. However, it's very, very, very tempting.
The second is a Business Class fare ex-BHX. Again, the dates are right, there's LH all the way to SIN on a Lufty Whalejet (which is possibly eVIPable) , there's SQ onward from SIN, there's a direct TG to BKK (Bangkok) and then there's SK back to BHX via CPH (Copenhagen). The price is outstanding, it's a smidge above 3k. That's excellent value, but, there's a slight downside. There's a 12 hour connection in CPH on the way back. That's a real Debbie Downer. Of course, one could just book the bags through to CPH, collect them and get a cheapy CPH-XXX-BHX and abandon the CPH-BHX.
I'm currently resisting both, but it might be hard. Opodo, you're a bastard, but a nice one.
UPDATE: I've just matched the first one on the SQ website. *Gulp*