I think the number of cores on a chip is accelerating a tad too fast. I agree with kyeana, most programs have yet to fully utilize even 4 cores. I have a Phenom II 810, and only some software can take advantage of my four cores which are virtualization and video encoding.
I think for now until later next year, 4 cores should be more than enough for anyone who's not going to use their systems to only do professional work. Of course if you're doing Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas on your systems, the more cores, the merrier.
All Software needs to be dictated and forced to do OpenCL regardless of choice , and should be used on every program. And older programs must be patch to embedded open cl, like Painter, Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, chat messaging, and most the most valuable, notepad, etc. To defeat the argument we don't need more cores. Being conservative on technology is always bad business, and bad for the future. Throw out the pigs out the market. What's so special reinventing the wheel again over and over? Or it's like saying we only need rockets to launch at our enemies, not for sending people to the moon.
But seriously, I still believe they might be holding out the material that intel discover? The III-V material, P-channel and N-channel transistors, maybe? Or I think it's something else, making sure that it's fully compatible with the 1366 issue? And they discover a kink in the 6-core 1336 and scrambling to fix it, after they just released a few samples out not to long ago?
I would think that they would stay with I7 as long as they can. there is no reason to release the new CPU's until they absolutly have to. Intel will probobly hold the 32nm part and optimize as much as they can until there is a possible competition from AMD. as we are all aware there is nothing from AMD that can compete with i7 as of now. So why downgrade your own cpu for no reason?. If I had to guess I would say they would even push it further. after all can anyone use moe than the existing 8 thread in the i7 CPU's right now? I don't think so.