This is complete and utter BS.
They have us by the nuts, and they know it. It's as simple as that.
Oh and those super duper sale prices if you are a current owner? Yeah two big issues there. First, they ONLY apply IF you bought directly from Adobe for your current version. I don't know any one that has, we all get stuff on sales through stores or through association discounts at retailers like B&H. Second, those nifty discounts are ONLY for the first 12 months. They you get the full unlubed shaft.
As to LR5, it's up in the air if it will still be standalone or not. I saw this notice earlier today and had a chat with support asking just that, since the website has contradictory info on the subject. Direct from support, they don't know.
"Naveen: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.
Naveen: Hi Bryan.
Naveen: May I please have your email address registered with Adobe?
Bryan: [email protected]
Naveen: Thank you for your email address.
Naveen: I have reviewed your request.
Naveen: I will be glad to check and help you accordingly.
Naveen: Bryan, Lightroom 4 is available as a standalone product and also included in Creative Cloud Membership.
Bryan: What about when 5 is released, will that be stand alone as well?
Naveen: Sorry for the wait. Please do stay online.
Naveen: Please allow me two minutes to check and help you further.
Naveen: I'll be right with you.
Naveen: I am sorry for the delay. Please allow me three more minutes to check and help you further.
Naveen: Thank you for your patience and time.
Naveen: I am sorry, we don't have any information about lightroom 5, whether the product will be sold as a stand alone product or only as part of the creative cloud.
Naveen: The information will be available only when the product is launched.
Bryan: Do you know if it will be released before the end of the sales going on right now for CC?
Naveen: I apologize for any inconvenience that might have caused to you in this regard.
Naveen: I am sorry we don't have any information about lightroom 5.
Bryan: OK thanks"