I thought it had been fairly well established over the years that each Foveon pixel, consisting of 3 stacked sensels, is approximately equivalent to two Bayer type sensels, or slightly less, in terms of apparent resolved detail and sharpness.
However, until more extensive comparisons are made with this new model, we won't know for certain. It could be the case, as the pixel count of the Bayer type sensors has increased (and will contunue to increase) and their AA filters have become increasingly weaker, the resolution advantage of that lack of an AA filter in front of the Foveon sensor is accordingly reduced slightly.
The issue of pricing is interesting. Whilst I sympathise with the frequently expressed outrage at the high price of the SD1 compared to other models of cameras that appear to offer more features, I see lots of products on the market that are outrageously priced in my view, and I therefore don't buy them.
It could be the case that Sigma are not particularly worried if you don't buy the SD1 because their manufacturing is currently geared for only a small output. Maybe the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has affected this pricing decision.
Let's suppose, for example, that Sigma is able to produce only 500 units a month, as a result of disruptions in Japan.
Ask yourselves which is better from Sigma's point of view, to sell 500 units a month at $2,000 each, resulting in a shortage of supply, long back-orders and angry customers, or to sell 300 units a month at $7,000 each, resulting in plenty of stock in all the retail outlets and warehouses, and a gradual accummulation of unsold stock which can be later sold at a substantial discount.
I notice from rereading Michael's article, that the SD1 has another unique feature, apart from its being the highest resolving cropped format camera on the market. It has a user-removable IR filter allowing the camera to be used for infrared photography.