I recall Cray went through similar bouts of self-doubt and lack of direction, culminating in the sale to SGI in 1996 - and we knowhow that turned out. I think that was a abrogation of responsibility by the Cray board and executive leadership team then, and this is the same at SUN today. Sun has been an outstanding company and today has a complete range of competent solutions for business and research - of US ICT companies, only IBM is comparably endowed. It seems to me that this is the sort of thing IBM would do to stop a competitor (HP? Fujitsu?) doing. Essentially doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons - it does not deserve to succeed. In the interim it destabalises Sun as a company and undermines its prospective sales, particularly market expanding sales. Really that is bad all round - bad for Sun, bad for Sun share holders and bad for customers and consumers.
It appears it ain't over yet - vultures will pick Sun over and it will become weaker as its own lack of direction and leadership undermine its technology and market share - and it appears IBM has necessarily given up either. The American business model falters badly when growth stops - this wouldn't happen to a Japanese company or a European one for that matter.
The board and executive leadership team at Sun should get on with running an iconic and innovative computer company, not abandoning ship.