I suppose Apple is sending a message, "we're not going to compete in the race-to-the-bottom for tablet prices." But still I expected them $30 less. $299 seems much more than $30 different than $329. And I'd still have given them $30 more for the smart cover anyway :)
I think we'll be able to skip the iPad 4 in our test-device suite. Anything that runs on the iPad 3 will just run much better on the iPad 4.
Now that "new iPad" name this spring makes perfect sense. I bet they knew this spring they'd update the iPad again in the fall--and didn't want iPad 3 out for only 6 months before iPad 4 came out.