An alternate view could also be that, given what Canon has pulled out of a 0.5µm process, it bodes well for what Canon can do with a 0.18µm process.
No. Sorry. The only allowable alternative view on the internet is 'sell all your gear and switch to Nikon'. Actual sensor performance in the real world need not apply.
Seriously though, this is a good point. You see it with computer processors all the time. The new, smaller achitecture comes out, but for a time there is the older, larger achritecture in the market place with it. And the real world performance is very small, if noticeable (in processors, its ususally power efficiency that is the major difference, not speed).
Canon's latest sensors have been of very high quality, and have upped the bar on high ISO performance compared to previous generations. Has the cow been milked for the last time? I dont know, and neither does anyone but the Canon engineers. The technology will reach a limit, and they will have to go to the next genearation, eventually. We've been conditioned to think that something that was 'state of the art' in technology a few years ago MUST be obsoloete by now (whenever 'now' is). But that is not always the case. There are many layers that go in to performance of systems like this, and just because one layer has not changed in its base architecture doesn't mean advancements havent been made in the execution of that architecture, or that advancements in other areas of the system have unlocked more performance from system as a whole.