Re: Intel thoroughly missing the point here
I don't think Intel are missing the point, they just see gaps in their line-up that need filling. (i.e. between single socket and a full-on dual socket, and between dual socket and their big E7 quad setup).
Intel cores are currently faster, clock for clock. For example, lets take anandtech's review of the E5-2600 ( http://www.anandtech.com/show/5553/the-xeon-e52600-dual-sandybridge-for-servers/ ). In that they take a simulated E5-2630 (6 cores, 2.3GHz) and they reckon it beats an Opteron 6276. Thats a $616 CPU beating a $788 CPU (list prices for both).
But still, the Opteron reaches futher down than the 2600 series does, so Intel knocked off a few of the extras to produce the 2400 series to compete with those. Likewise, the E7 is overkill for many where you just want 4 sockets-worth of ram and cpu, so bump up the E5 to fit there.