I think the OP (Nebulous) has a good point here not being entirely addressed--and won't yet by me very effectively I'm sure as I don't know other than something "different" is at play -- either solely or in combo with some aspects that have already been mentioned. Perhaps with the election-period frenzy, for instance, .223 orders are up and so any
cartridge other than .223 not normally considered esoteric but also not with the mega-strong "core" group of .270/.30-06/.308/7 Mag/.30-30.is effectively relegated to being "fringe." I'm sure this has already been suggested if not the exact words.
Regardless, it's a disconcerting trend. The -08's a great round (I thought was on the rise as well--sort of "re-found") that deserves much better.