The CMP has been privatized now and unfortunately we will never see those prices again. I got on their mailing list to be notified when they have some available for sale, but from what I have been able to find, I probably still won't be able to afford one of theirs.
With the crazyness in firearms prices from the past year, I suspect that some people see these M1 Carbines as investments, not something to shoot.
I had liked M1 Carbines since I was a kid, but had a long spell of not shooting and didn't get back into shooting until the 2000's. By then, the cheap ones were gone and I have never been quite able to justify the cost of a GI one. These days, I am conflicted about shooting original-condition WWII rifles. Part of me wants to avoid causing more damage to a piece of history. The other part of me, of course, just wants to go shooting.
I guess that if I really get the bug to buy a M1 Carbine in the future, I could get one of the new Inland or Auto Ordnance ones.
I owned a Plainfield M1 carbine back in the late-1970s. Most enjoyable rifle I've ever shot. I always wanted to get another.
About ten years ago I went shopping for an AR15 to convert to 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel, planning to do comparison tests.
As I stood at the counter, handling the M4 clone, I noticed a very nice USGI M1 carbine on the rack, and bought it instead.
Paid $999 plus tax, but I didn't consider it to be an investment. I fully intended to shoot it as much and as often as possible.