One point not brought up in this thread is that the US dollar has been dropping steadily since mid 2007 (from ~120 yen to 84 yen), and this isn't likely to reverse soon (why is another discussion entirely). This amounts to the equivalent of a steady price drop in camera prices sold in the US - as far as the money Canon brings in. Rather than raise list prices on existing product (which is hard to do without negative backlash by consumers), Canon has been raising prices when brining new products to market. Example is the EF 70-200 f/2.8L II. Big price jump.
The 7D is your 50D successor, only with a price increase via a name change. That is the camera the xxD guys wanted to see follow the 50D. The problem is it isn't at the price point expected. The 60D line is not dead, it has been renamed to 7D. And unfortunately, has had a price increase partly due to exchange rates.
By naming this new camera a 60D instead of a 600D, Canon Marketing set expectations that it would be a clear advancement beyond a 50D, which it is not. Therefore, xxD owners, and those planning to be, are appropriatly dissapointed as is understandable.
Canon built a new camera to hit a price point in their product line up. The camera must be evaluated based upon what it offers for the price and the desires and behaivors of the consumers that purchase cameras at that price. I'm sure the 60D name will be a branding bonus for those that now purchase this new camera. Something a little above a Rebel. Canon has repurposed/repositioned the 60D name.
Not withstanding the dissapointment by some - On its own merit, the 60D looks to be a good product and it will sell very well at the price point released. (which will drop a bit once it gets to the market and all the channels have adequate inventory).
Nikon is a fine camera line as well. Canon and Nikon will leap frog over the years. If you don't have a lot of investment in lenses, then just go ahead and buy a Nikon if they have more of what you want at the price point you are looking at.