Curious, have folks had issues with fake Atmel chips? I've read the military has has some issue with fake parts to the point they often need to disassemble some to determine their authenticity. So there is no doubt they exist. Personally I've purchase maybe 10 various Pro Mini boards on eBay and have never any indication the chips I've received were sub standard. I've made plenty wiring and voltage mistakes and have not lost a board to date.
I do purchase from only 1 or 2 vendors on eBay, vendors I started with because they had a good rating and offered mid level prices. After receiving seemingly good product I stayed with them if possible.
Not that it applies to this topic but I just purchased a Pro Mini compatible in a square form factor, 3 rows of pins and "4 mounting holes" The mounting holes are what drove me to purchase these boards.