not hard to beat
I think someone would be hard pressed to find a chassis switch that's more expensive than the 6500, and at least somewhat hard pressed to find a modern chassis switch that performs worse.
I don't really see anything in the article that seems to tie a new force10 offer with the recent HP/cisco split. As you may recall HP partnered up with Brocade/Foundry pretty quickly to OEM their stuff after the UCS was launched. I remember HP used to OEM the Foundry MG8(and perhaps other products) several years ago.
This article at first seemed to imply a partnership with HP and force10, but in the end there's no indication of that, and sounds like they aren't even talking, otherwise force10 wouldn't be advertising to go out and replace Procurve gear as well.
It would be interesting to see if any other 3rd parties come up with switching gear for HP blade systems, though with HP pushing virtualconnect(I don't know how open HP might be to other vendors adding VC support to their gear) it may be difficult to make much progress in the future.