The D7000's competition is the 60D, not the 7D, so it's not surprising that the D7000 falls short of the 7D, spec-wise. The 7D's match is the D300s, which has no successor to date.
Precisely. Nikon has yet to produce a direct competitor to the 7D 2 years after its release. So, it's not exactly a bad thing for the 7D to surpass the specs of a 2 year old D300 model. In fact, Canon has now set the bar for the D300 successor. If Nikon was originally thinking of releasing an 18 MP, 8 fps successor, they know now they have to do better than that.
In the same vein, if Canon produces a 18 MP FF 12 fps 1D5 with excellent high ISO performance and wide low ISO dynamic range, then Nikon knows their D4 has to be better than that. Whatever original plans they had for the D3/D3s successor must now be discarded and improved upon.
This is the benefit of healthy competition.