Cypress/Northern Islands and Fermi were both 40nm, so the node cadence isn't really that unusual: 28nm debuted with the 7970. But the GPU manufacturers now face competition for access to fabs from the mobile SoC devices, and when faced with the choice of selling to nV/AMD or to Apple (who are looking to shift most of their iPhone silicon away from Samsung for obvious reasons), well, you can guess who has the better influence there.
And yeah, while power consumption for a single-GPU card is, I believe, second only to the maligned GTX480, I'd still say it's well within reason. Indeed at with both CPU and GPU at stock clocks, I'd be okay running it off a ~450W PSU. It is, after all, only ~10-20% more than where the previous gen ended up powerwise.