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Maybe its something to do with limited shipping capacity - I inquired a month ago about when Toyworld will be restocked with road plates, and was told the next shipment is in April - so they're obviously limited to what and when they get stock.
I think the two sets I mentioned weren't released with the other Star Wars sets is because they are exclusives.
According to a guy I spoke to yeseterday on the LEGO customer helpline the main reason is the retailers themselves. For instance, 9494 has been delayed because the retailer wants it in their catalogues.