Here is what I think I know.
Although I have not seen an official in-writing announcement, word seems to be that the issue with burned sockets in P55 boards comes from the plastic Foxconn was using. Just how many Foxconn sockets were involved or how quickly they will disappear from the market is a mystery.
We do know that the majority of motherboards made use Foxconn LGA 1156 sockets. There are a few exceptions apparently, but: Just because a motherboard seems to have a different socket in the picture is no guarantee that it will arrive with the same socket.
While it may be true that this only becomes an issue under higher overclocks, this is still unacceptable to me. Engineering is all about margin, and it's completely reasonable to buy a motherboard on OC potential, even if you never overclock.
But wait, there's more:
i7 CPUs seem to need more power than the old Core 2 Duos and Quads. Since the demand is higher, we apparently have the voltage regulation failing on many lower priced P55 boards when overclocked. So, we also have to be careful about the quality of the parts used, and heatsinks also.
Again, it's my opinion that this is true whether you are going to OC or not. You want a robust board that will have some longevity.
Then we start climbing the cost ladder, and we really don't see a board that meets all the criteria until we get pretty expensive.
EVGA P55 FTW SLI 132-LF-E657-KR http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This board seems to have the Lotes Socket, hefty voltage regulation, hefty heatsinks, SLI support (X8, X8 of course), and quite a few other features. If your MAIN focus was overclocking, this would be a good choice.
However, you can get great voltage regulation, heatsinks, no socket issues, and true SLI/SF at X16/X16 on an X58 board, for less:
This subsequent Anandtech article talks more about it in the conclusion. No satisfactory answers and everyone seems to be ignoring it. Since anandtech seems to be the only one talking about it, its not getting much attention. I hope it doesnt turn into a long term durability issue for all those i5s and i7 850s people are buying. http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3671
Well yes in general its a problem, but for the average consumer/gamer, no. Of course, as you mentioned a bit the higher end boards SHOULD have enough voltage regulations/heatsinks/high end capacitors to solve that issue, but it still might blow some, who knows? As far as the sockets go, yes its still a faulty socket, but as of now it doesn't affect anyone but bench testers, so let them worry about it. On the same lines, we still don't know if the faulty scoring marks will be a long term issue. I actually just got my Asus 1156 board in today with the Foxconn socket and I'm not too worried.