Neither do I work for Sun, but we are talking logic here
I don't think we are talking past history here. A vendor has introduced new products and we are talking about how they compare with others. Ultimately, x86 server space is a complete commodity sector, and the market share that today's top x86 server vendors have good linkage to how long they have been selling them, in addition to technical superiority of their solutions, hardware and management solutions included. HP(and Compaq), IBM and DELL all are selling x86 servers for decades, so there are great maturity on their products, solutions, marketing and positioning. There have been 2nd tier vendors who have built as much capable servers, and startups who probably have even done better, but they have vanished over time, either gone out of business or have been bought over, so it proves the point that the marketing clout and sales expertise of the top tier x86 server vendors are of extreme importance.
But here we are commenting about the merits and demerits of a few newly introduced x86 servers. If you look at the latest x86 server market share, you would notice that Sun has steadily risen from nowhere to no 5 vendor in revenue, ahead of NEC and just barely behind FSC - and they have done that with very limited product offerings (e.g. no Intel, no general purpose blades, no windows OEM licensing) and with just the first generation of products.
Well, back to product comparison, you can claim that comparing X4450 to HP DL580 are apples to oranges comparison, but I do not think this is the case. Obviously, the HP DL580 is a much bigger box and have more IO headroom, but not all customers who are looking for a 4-socket box need all those many local drives and will never populate so many IO slots (BTW, you need to purchase an optional expansion card to populate 3 additional IO slots in the HP box). The Sun box can address a vast majority of customers who are looking for a 4-socket box and does not need so much IO could have a look at the Sun X4450 if twice the compute and memory density sounds attractive to them. BTW, each of Sun's x86 servers come with 4 ethernet ports, so you need one less PCI slot anyway.
In regards to management, can you provide any evidence why HP's ILO2 is 'far superior' compared to Sun's ILOM for remote management. If the product reviews of Sun's x86 servers are anything to go by, the ILOM is rated as a very capable solution and meeting the need for vast majority of users. In any case, I believe Sun already ships their servers with SNMP agents that fits in easily in a HP or IBM management environment. BTW, DELL is ahead of IBM in x86 server market share, why would you think they could go that far. DELL does not have so much of bells and whistles of a complete management solution as HP or IBM does, yet they are a very respectable x86 server vendor, just based on price ?
Customers make their own purchasing decisions and they have good reasons. I think the new Sun boxed do not change the competitive landscape in x86 server space, but customers surely do have a few more good servers to choose from and that is very healthy sign that competition and innovation is alive and kicking in x86 space.