I don't buy the listed price. Haha. No pun intended. I bet it's a matter of setting cost expectations very high on purpose. When the very high expected price for a highly coveted item drops, it suddenly seems far more affordable, even though it is still very very expensive. That is my guess. Strategically thinking as a retailer. And maybe a little wishful thinking. Absolutely nothing to back it up.
But I bet it will come out priced somewhat lower than the $1100 we're hearing now (maybe $9900) and then it won't be long before it can be had around $8000-8500, hopefully by the end of the year. X-mas 2012, Santa, now you know what I want in my giant stocking!
It's still going to be a lot more than you would have to shell out for the Nikon version of a 200-400 and a TC add-on. However, it will have not just the great convenience of the built-in TC but it will also perform better, be sharper and faster, as a result of it's integration. Sure, it's still a small fortune, but it's everything I have been waiting for to complete my kit, which is based on the highest quality I can get while having the most focal length flexibility.
Of course, first I have to pony up for the new 24-70 II this summer before I can begin to think about the 200-400 1.4X. In fact, I bet a lot of folks will do just that and as a result, the price will almost certainly drop faster than expected for the 200-400 1.4X.