Once Leica has a sensor with new cover glass -how hard can that be?- I think prices will come back up. The CCD Leica is going to be a cult camera, Leica is not going to make another. Phase One did- the new 60MPixel monochrome camera uses a CCD as the quality is simply better than anything like it in CMOS.
I've been checking the ON Semi website- the lead time for ordering KAF-18500 went from "in Stock" not long ago to 13~16 week leadtime. That's longer than the other CCD's, so I suspect the part might be in revision.
"The Thought Occurs to me" that the Data Sheet was revised to account for a second version of the KAF-18500, with the S8612 version remaining in production. Again- the other Data Sheets in the On Semi line-up were not revised. The Catalog number on the old sheet is not in this one. "Something going on behind the scenes". If I were Leica, I would very quietly replace defective sensors with the revised sensor. If they announced a revised sensor with a more durable coating, everyone would want theirs exchanged.
For anyone that does not mind a camera without Liveview, the M Monochrom and M-E will most likely be the Last CCD cameras from Leica. The M Monochrom has an Image Quality that is unsurpassed, and will be for a long time. If Leica manages to pull off a full-frame BSI sensor with the uniformity required for a good monochrome image, maybe then.
I've had very positive experiences dealing with Leica Miami Store. Josh and David are both excellent gentlemen and very fair. I recommend them highly. I have no affiliation other than a happy client.