I don't know if it's a sign of the economic times or just a sign of the new competition for U.S.-Australia customers created by the launch of V Australia, but a fare war has broken out for flights on the transpacific routes.
As reported here, the American Express Asia Pacific Travel Monitor recently found a small but significant drop in in U.S.-Australia fares in the fourth quarter, but that's nothing compared to what's happening right now. As noted here and here and here (and elsewhere--this is getting a lot of attention), Delta, United, Qantas and V Australia appear to be trying to outdo each other with fare cuts. Delta, which begins its LAX-Sydney service in July. For example, I just found a Delta fare--roundtrip and including taxes and fees-for $722.