Yep, I have yet to see a new one on display yet. There are still some hold over traditions, however they are a lot easier to get, no more waiting in line, and you won't have to pay over retail to get them any more. Besides they are pretty salty at the regular retail price anyway.
Yes, they usually keep them in the safe rather than in the display case. I think its an attempt to make it look like they are very difficult to get (for those that don't know there is no longer a wait), and that it just arrived and they haven't even had time to put it out.
Years ago when I first started looking at Daytonas...they were $3,800. Demand was so insane, that wait lists at bigger dealers were several years long. When you did find a SS Daytona in the window or display case of a shop it was often $2,500 over list or to as much as twice the MSRP. I did see a few in display cases...all for around $7,500 (I know seems like a bargain now). I bought my first 2 SS Daytonas for $4,350 and then $5,100...after a few price increases in 1996. However, these watches were really very underpriced (AP and VC were selling SS chronos for $12,000, Breguet and Blancpain were selling for around $7,500...and those watches all depreciated. The SS Daytonas could be worn for a day or 5 years and then sold for more than you paid. Tons of them just sold to people that got on as many lists as possible and who flipped them immediately after purchase.
The price really hit demand hard. When the current 116520 first hit US shores it was $6,000. There was still a steady demand for Daytonas even when they hit $9,000...but once flippers saw they couldn't make a profit flipping them quickly for a few grand, they stopped buying and demand started to catch up (a friend in the jewlery business said at about $10K and $20K the number of would be watch buyers drops off drastically). That plus a bad economy starting in 2008/2009 when people on wait lists would pass when an AD called them because they lost their jobs, or were afraid of losing their jobs and wondering how they would make mortgage and car payments.
Its still a great watch even if one can't buy a new one and sell it the next day to make a few thousand on the side. I love mine.
US MSRP for a SS Daytona is $12,000.