The lower prices are in line with the usual Canon trend to lower prices before the end of the fiscal year, when times are tough like they are now, the discounts get bigger. Canon wins because they are able to reduce inventory and show stockholders a better bottom line for 2012, and the buyers win as well. Retailers sell them at the reduced price while they last, sometimes thru most of January, and then the price rises again.
Retailers will find ways to get around map prices. You can often just call them and ask for a lower price or a package deal.
Canon loves it when they give the printers away, since ink sales are where the profit is.