Obviously, a freighter would have been simpler to build.
There's ususally more mark up on passenger planes, and it would have used different landing gear and wings than the 800 model passenger version. I think what this also means is the A380-900 won't be built for at least a decade if ever, because it would share the heavier wing and landing gear with the A380-800F.
Fact is, nobody seemed to *want* the A380-800F. There were some nibbles, but only UPS and FedEx committed, and FedEx backed out first. They've still got interest on the -800 passenger version from Middle Eastern and Asian airlines that want to use them on medium-length high-density routes, and Qantas. Not to mention, of course, the state-dominated European airlines that'll be forced to order some of the things to show solidarity.
I think it'll enter commercial service, and it'll probably be a mild "success"--a couple of hundred of them flying around for airlines like Emirates and Singapore. But at this point I don't see how they can ever hope to break even with it, if Paleo's figures are correct. It'll be a technological showpiece and one hell of a museum exhibit, but not a whole lot more.