I think I know why CoP worldwide release has been pushed back to ~Q1 2010:
Metro 2033, the corridor based S.T.A.L.K.E.R. clone, which is about to be released in November. It's made by former SoC devs who quit development just after the release of SoC. They started their own studio.
Metro AFAIK basically runs on a X-Ray derivative, the 4A Engine. The game almost has the same kind of visual art (http://images.google.com/images?q=metro+2033) and similar concept (post-apocalypse, mutants etc) as the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. Since this means competition, it may be one hell of a reason to delay the worldwide release of CoP. This also shows how much confidence (or the lack thereof) GSC has in their own game.
Message edited by: Der Red 11/16/2009 18:15:40
For all those thinking of buying the German version...
... better go for the Austrian UNCUT Version, as our "youth protection" laws are less rigid than the German ones. Bought mine at gameware.at and am playing it since the 4th of November already. Unfortunately the nice special edition seems to be out of stock already.
And BTW big part of the game talk is still Russian, but this seems quite ok to me anyway.
And regarding copy protection - just simple DVD-check, no online registration or activation hassle.