I haven't seen anything about a set date but the way the snapshots are looking, I would guess very soon. But I'm sure someone out there that constantly watches everyone at Mojang's twitter and facebook and will have a more precise answer on when it will be released.
I would say, About the first quarter of February, Alot of us want 1.5, but we must be patient
They work hard and as fast they can, I don't mind if minecraft wasn't updated for a while, I would understand.
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To be honest, I hope it doesn't come out too too fast, for a lot of server owners, it is a pain how there are so many major updates. Bukkit just released a DB for 1.4.7, yet almost none of the plugins have updated, still, wouldn't it be worse if Minecraft 1.5 just pops out?