This section is obviously time sensative, but as of this writting the pricing broke down like this:
All of these prices are for perpetual licenses, meaning they are good forever. Oracle doesn't say CPU, they say "proccessor", but CPu is more fitting because it doesn't matter if you use 8 single CPU systems or 1 8-way system, it's the same cost. Because of this distiction the idea of running on small X86 systems using RAC isn't as attractive because you can get more work out of Sun UltraSparcIV or IBM POWER5 than you can out of small proccessor and therefore reducing the true total cost of your Oracle enviroment.
Obviously, the prefered way to buy Oracle is based on named users and to simply reduce the number of named users you create. Named users are defined by Oracle as:
Named User Plus: is defined as an individual authorized by you to use the programs which are installed on a single server or multiple servers, regardless of whether the individual is actively using the programs at any given time. A non human operated device will be counted as a named user plus in addition to all individuals authorized to use the programs, if such devices can access the programs.
I called Oracle to clarify this and I was told that they consider a "named user" as any person (physical human) or resource (automated proccess) that touches the database. An in this way (so they say) you can no buy named users for a database that will be used with a webserver because each visitor to the site is a "user" of the database, even if you only have 5 webservers that actually talk directly to the database.
In addition, when buying per user, you must adhear to Oracle set "User Minimums". For instance, when purchasing Oracle Database Enterprise Edition the Named User Plus Minimum is 25 Named Users per Proccessor. So if you plan to install Oracle EE on an 8 way system you need to buy 200 named users, at $800 per user bringing your total cost to $160,000!
Now, on the plus side, Standard Edition has a minimum of 5 named users and it's not per processors, but the edition is limited to 4 proccessors. So you could buy Oracle Standard Edition with 5 named users for $1,500 and use it on either a 4 way box, or because RAC is included, in a 4 node RAC configuration.
Also, Oracle can sell you CD Packs, if you don't want to download all the media. The packs tend to cost less than $100. You can actually buy printed manauls, but they are $75 per manual.
To tie it all together, lets assume you were going to buy Oracle Enterprise Edition for your Sun V1280 with 12 CPUs. Thats gonna run $40,000 per CPU bringing the software cost to $480,000, 22% of that for 1 year of support translating to $105,600 (per year), $100 for the media kit, and $25 for a Polo Shirt making the grand total cost $585,725. Consider that the V1280 with 12 USIII CPUs at 1.2Ghz and 24Gb of memory only costs you $139,995.00.