(The question is what the heck is going on in 2008?)
2) Yes, we are getting better quality. If you were around for the fluff IPOs of the late 90s you'd agree. For every Kana Communications there were at least 9 other immature flops like pets.com, etoys.com, flooz.com that died within 3 years.
3) Companies get to choose their own destiny. If they're ready to IPO they'll swallow the $5million overhead of SOX and head out to the market. Those that can't swallow the cost or time will either have to wait or find alternate means.
That said, SOX is still a beast born of a knee-jerk reaction and I'd love to see it streamlined. But there's some good in there.