Eyewitness report from someone that works for a major US authorized Nikon reseller - the rumors is that we will see a replacement of the AF VR Zoom-NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED lens soon:
80-400 VR lenses are getting incredibly scarce. I had a D700 customer today who wanted one and there are zero in our warehouse, and only a handful in the company. This rarely happens with the established prosumer stuff. Our Nikon rep said to sell what we have, because a replacement might be on the way. Keyword might, but he can usually tell us when shortages are due to the regular Nikon lens production schedules.