When asked at CES about the M500 price points, we were told the 960GB model would hit the $600 price point and the other capacity would scale from there. Although not specifically stated, I took that to mean $300 for the 480GB, $150 for the 240GB and around $75 for the 120GB. At the time, the prices were very good, although other SSDs were hitting those price points from time to time with sales and incentives, like rebates.
The 960GB model hit the $600 price point for a short period and then Crucial couldn't make enough of them to keep up with demand. We've seen M500 960GB drives selling for as high as $750 this week. We're fairly certain IMFT isn't getting the yields out of 20nm that they would like and that's one of the reasons why 960GB M500 drives are so few and far between. If this is true, then there is no reason for Crucial to move the 480GB down to a $300 price point. I think we'll see this drive at that very low price point before it turns end of life, but I don't see the price going down anytime soon.
At $349.99 (Newegg pricing at the time of writing), the M500 480GB is quite attractive. LSI SandForce drives have performance issues at this capacity size and other Marvell based and Link A Media controlled drives cost more.
Performance wise, the 480GB model is the lowest capacity size that delivers enthusiast level performance. The M500, if you recall, is Crucial's answer to Samsung's 840 SSD with TLC flash. The price points in the smaller capacity sizes are more 840 Pro instead of 840, though. At the higher capacity sizes, the M500 hits the spot in both performance and price. All considered, the Crucial M500 480GB is one of the best buys in this capacity size right now.