Marzocchi's been pretty good about it in the last few years, the Z1SL and Z150SL are pretty good examples. It doesn't seem like they are out there to make outrageous claims about the weight (like them and other companies have done in the past).
And about HSCV, well that is just one cartridge, there are changes for 2005 as far as damping and adjustments are concerned, and the 888 is not just the "standard" catridge as you claim, it's quite a bit different and has low/high speed adjustments.
Personally, I'd like to see the 26mm shiver cartridges in the shiver DC fork, but I don't think that will happen
Let's not forget that many people are not happy with the SPV performance, especially the low-speed performance. It might get better, it might remain "different, and people will probably buy it for certain advantages that it has (and dealing with any disadvantage). I agree with Gonzo that Manitou has "stepped up" in the recent years. I think it remains to be seen if Rockshox will, they are still using the POS ported dampers on many of their forks, and if there is a company that we have seen almost no suspension innovation from, this would be the one. The best they got is "pure", which is a TPC ripoff....