Hello, and welocme to THG.
Well for starters: DO NOT POST YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS.
Second: They were released as of the 5th of this month. I heard about the 9th of January.
Third: It should increase in perfomance somewhat. There are reviews and benches online,(even here @ Tom's.)
Fourth: You could wait. It will be expensive unlike last generation.
Fifth: The reason the 'First Generation' Core i series will still be expensive, is that they are still relevent chipset microarchitectures.
You are not missing anything...just possibly confused. Personally, I would wait and research for Sandy Bridge and their second release in Q2 2011 and also look into AMD's 'BUlldozer' CPU's as well.