The quoted lifetimes are PREDICTED reliability based on specific temperatures, perfect construction with no flaws, and no temperature cycling. The usual bathtub curve applies: some will fail very soon (infant mortality) due to poor construction.
If LED bulbs really last as long as is claimed, then they're actually not more expensive in time-averaged price than CCFLs.
A few years ago, I replaced all my incandescents with CCFLs, all of which claim to have 10,000 hours life. At first I bought brand name expensive ones, but after replacing a few of those after just a year or so, I started buying the cheap no-brand made in China CCFLs, which are now only $2-$3 each. They seem to also only last a year or so, which is no worse than the expensive ones.
The no-brand LED bulbs seem to go for about $20 for a 60W equivalent light output, and they claim 25,000 hours life.
It all comes down to the claim vs. the reality.
How about we all stop using science to drive polotical agenda. This technology is wonderful, but the promises of savings to the consumer are absolute BS. see:
Good stuff. The CFLs are great because they produce more light then heat -efficiency! The LEDs will produce heat but seam to have the efficiency. I found it easy to replace all of my incandesent lights with CFLs and only wish they were US made. I will try a few of the LEDs as the CFL's fail. New formats like overhead lighting or panels may come with time. Remember tube circuits and how the tubes were replaceable and now we had solid state and we no longer expect to replace active circuits.