What's up with the dramatic rise in 6GB DDR3 kit prices?

I finally decided to shell out for a Core i7 920 system after running into a nice deal on a new 920 at MicroCenter ($199 for in-store pickup), though I'm really focusing on getting the absolute best value for my money. I managed to get an open-box Asus P6T for about $150, so now it's time for the RAM selection. The only thing is, I can't seem to find anything at all that seems like a good memory value right now. I see decent-to-good deals on DDR2 and DDR3 4GB kits, but anything at all in the 6 GB range is running $140 at a minimum, and those are usually deals with mail-in-rebates (ugh!). I was just browsing Newegg and looking at some OCZ DDR3-1600 kits when I noticed one of the reviews mentioning that they had purchased the kit for about $100. Alright, that must have been a little while ago, I thought, then I read the date - 2/2/2010. That's just a hair more than two weeks ago. That same kit, after a $30 MIR, now costs a cool $155. I was intrigued. I did some googleing for DDR3 price histories. Pretty much everything I could find shows a pretty steady doubling of prices starting from the middle of last year till now.

So, I guess my question is two fold.

1) Is there any general consensus on what is causing this rise in memory prices, especially for 6GB DDR3 kits? And please, no one answer "supply-and-demand" - I'm an economist, and items like RAM that go through an S-curve type of product adoption cycle, meaning that prices should be lowest during the middle of the product's life-cycle. Which, if we are not there yet, we should at least be heading towards for 6GB DDR3 kits. Certainly, we shouldn't already be on the backside of the cycle and seeing prices rise again. Also, I know that memory prices are a lot cheaper now than they were, oh, 15 years ago, when we all would have been thrilled for the opportunity to drop a couple benjamins on a nice shiny piece of 64MB goodness. I'm just trying to understand what's going on with the prices to decide if I want to wait a week or two and see where prices go from on 6GB kits - i.e. are they going to change drastically again in the near future, and if so, is it going to be in the direction of $100 a kit memory or $200?

2) Is there anything in the past two weeks that I've totally missed (i.e. Singapore, Malaysia, or South Korea enduring a flood/typhoon/nuclear war/other act of God) that would spike memory prices?
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  1. I wish I could answer your question. I remember standing in line years ago to pay $100 for a single 4 mb stick of ram. So ram prices are still cheaper than 10-15 years ago. Had I seen this coming, I would have ordered some 2gb sticks of ocz for around $21 shipped less than one year ago at amazon.com.
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