OK, I managed to get a hold of a Casio rep, grilled him with questions despite his tight-lipped corporate attitude and determined several facts regarding the Type-L...
1) It IS in limited distribution in Japan and is quickly becoming popular due to improved speed, battery life, and ruggedness. National-level distribution expected in April, with global distribution following. This is as close to a release date as I could get.
2) He could not say with 100% accuracy, but the stock batt is supposed to be 2400 (not bad) and a 3000 mAh extended will be made avilable (may be good depending on $)
3) Verizon is most definitely offloading Commandos by the truckload to make room for new product. Available on Amazon.com for pennies!
4) The US version will definitely have cosmetic and some OS adjustments from its Asian counterpart. No details there, sadly
5) He claimed the new SnapDragon processor and buffed RAM will triple speed over Commando. Hmm I'm optimistic, others with more geek knowledge can touch on this.
6) The bad news... they have gone to great lengths to eliminate rooting methods. They apparently researched deeply into exploits and he concluded that discussion by saying "Don't even try". Corporate types... BAH!
Hopefully others will chime in with fresh news. If y'all have any friends in Japan, try to get em to take some picks and send some reviews!!!