All of this brought to mind my own favorite (and most disappointing) fan that I've come across. It's something I discovered when attending last year's IFA Berlin tech trade show. The GreenFan 2, is from a Japanese company, Balumuda. What was so wonderful about the fan is how remarkable it was at cooling. What was freaking disappointing is that it's not available in the U.S., at least at the moment.
I was so enamored with the GreenFan 2 that I stood in front of it, luxuriating in its breeze and reading the documentation on its display for (without exaggerating) about 15-20. I stood in front of it so long that I think other show visitors thought I was part of the exhibit. The vendors found me quite amusing, though appreciative, and when I wrote the company a couple months later, they remembered "the guy who was standing in front of your fan for so long."
Despite spending so much time reading about their "natural breeze" technology and asking questions, I still can't tell you precisely how it works, but it has something to do with dual layer blades and air diffusion over a flat surface... However, it delivered the coolest and quietest air I've ever come across.