I was at Samy's Camera Los Angeles today (5/9) and the canon rep there said that he has heard it may be by the end of June. But, I've read other places they are expecting it sometime in July. He did say that he has seen prints and it is a really sharp lens and the reason for the $900 price increase has to do with the cost of the materials and special lens elements.... (ok!?)
Either way, I can't wait.
Actually the reason for the $900 price increase is that Canon prices their products fairly consistently in Yen. The new lens costs the exact same as the old lens did in yen (adjusted for inflation) down to a few tenths of a percent. The $900 is the effect of the exchange rate. Nothing more, nothing less.
International companies don't often play currency games like that. Especially 'down to a few tents of a percent' - that's ridiculous. They will keep this price for years and currency fluctuates all the time, especially now with the Yen carry trade. As for inflation - what inflation? CPI, core CPI? There isn't a single 'inflation', as inflation & deflation change individually for every item in an economy, and the statistical aggregate that is announced doesn't actually correspond for any particular product.
Really ... Canon has employees all over the world, all the sales reps, the repair centers, regional offices, R&D and manufacturing. Money is fungible and they have to pay out a lot of bucks, so that money you pay in bucks for your lens doesn't necessarily ever see Japanese shores.
I work in a similar industry, and trust me the price setting marketing team is not calculating currency or inflation. They raised the price because they can - or they think they can (you never know until you start selling it and seeing the numbers).