I'm no expert, and I don't know that LEGO takes the same approach to production as other toy companies, but it's quite possible that LEGO is done with their production run on a single set before it even hits retail. That is to say, 10179 may have been done with it's production run before it was ever available for sale and it's just a matter of time before retailers and consumers buy them up. That initial run was probably a significantly high number, but once they're done, they're done.
Some evidence that lends a bit of credence to that theory: there have been a few smaller ($20 or less) sets recently that sold out fairly quickly and then came back later at a higher price. For example, 4939 Cool Cars
was originally for sale at $9.99. It sold out fairly quickly (about a year...maybe less), then became available again at $12.99. That could indicate that the set was given a subsequent production run. The first run was popular and sold well enough to justify bringing it back, but the MSRP was increased to offset the cost of instituting another production run of the set. Sure, sometimes sets come and go and come and go due to fluctuations in distribution, but the big difference here is that it was gone, then came back with a price hike, then was gone for good.
I could be way off on that, but it makes sense to me.