I bought mine brand new from Adorama for $1099 on 12/28/2012. The sale period lasted, I'm pretty sure, for less than one day and maybe only for a few hours. I just happen to check the CR site late at night and saw the notice for the sale. I wasted no time in ordering the lens. It's a fantastic lens. I've seen this price or a few dollars lower ($1089?) occasionally on a Canon refurb sale, but not on all of their sales. I've never seen anything lower than this price. If you need the lens now, even $1199 is a good price. If you can wait, then check this site and canonpricewatch.com for sale notices.
Yes, I remember that one and it was a short-lived sale. I was surprised that it went as low as it did. I'd bought a used copy for about the same price the previous year, and I thought I had gotten a good deal for a like-new lens until I saw that deal.
Its focal length range and size/weight are its advantages. Its images are also better/different than what I see on the LCD, so much so that I no longer delete files while reviewing images in the field but do it all on the computer. Never had to do that with my other lenses, including the 70-200 II. It also has a tougher time focusing on low contrast targets even in bright sun (i.e. wet seals/sea lions) than the 70-200 II. A reason for that might be that it can't take advantage of the more accurate AF f/2.8 baselines. It is my only non-specialty lens that is slower than f/2.8. For sports and portraits, I'll grab the 70-200 II every time, but for travel (including zoos), the 70-300L is hard to beat.