AMD is doing well in the GPU market, with the 4800 series proving to be more than a match for Nvidia’s cards. The performance has been impressive and initial reviews show it in a very positive light. The CPU side of AMD isn't doing as well, and hasn't been for a long time. Unwilling or unable to put up the same fight they are against Nvidia, though, AMD is looking to be a little more conservative for a while. As a result they don't have any plans for a high performance processor to compete with Intel's top of the line for a while.
This includes the latest Nehalem processors, which AMD has conceded they currently don't have any technology capable of besting them. According to the rumor, AMD will just sit back and wait until sometime in 2009 to get another performance-class processor out the door.
It may seem like such, but this is not a bad thing at all. AMD did not make their entrance into the market with a performance king, and instead took the underdog route. They fabbed chips that were similar to Intel's in every way except performance and price – and it was their lower prices that built up their customer base in the first place. Things changed rapidly when they discovered they could also out-perform Intel, and since then it's been a lot of back and forth. Perhaps AMD should focus on the price portion again, to avoid losing even more ground to Intel.