An official press release, seen here, states that "The HTC Hero will be available to people across Europe in July and in Asia later in the summer. A distinct North American version will be available later in 2009." So what will be so different about the American version of the phone?
About six minutes into my first video from a sit-down with HTC's CIO, Horace Luke, he mentions that the company is working on hashing out the Teflon coating with other colors, as the white model is the sole device currently featuring the material. The only other Hero hue seen in the wild thus far is brown. The HTC 09 centerfold, as I like to call it, showed a pink phone. Check out the vid below for a quick peek at a some other variations.
It seems pretty reasonable to associate the other colors with the distinct nature of the US model, but it's possible that HTC has more in mind. Whether or not this could include a Donut is unknown, but both are expected by the end of the year.