Final answer, the DOD thinks the risks of starting F-35 training sooner rather than later is the way to go: assuming other administrative issues like a safety certificate show up. More here.
There has also been another F-35 delivered to Eglin, while the first production representative F-35B STOVL has had its first flight.
In reference to my post on F-35 low rate initial production (LRIP) 5, Stephen Trimble has an additional look at the woe.
Bill Sweetman writes on F-22 and ATF program history. He states that the idea of budget growth on such projects is vague.
That teaches an important lesson: There are no overruns, only underestimates and external forces -- and in defense, the latter are usually less important.
The estimates were wishes. The Pentagon had cut the unit cost from $40 million at the last moment, but it meant about as much as Winston Smith's estimates of boot production in 1984. There was no authority behind it.
F-22 production was halted not just because of its "program of record" but because of the perception it was too expensive.
The F-35--with half the capability of an F-22 (if that)--is now facing similar troubles because of expense and lack of credibility.
The other expense being that of poor project managers on both sides of the fence.