The process has been a long hard slog by CyanogenMod’s lofty standards - according to a blog post on the CM website 225 days have come and gone since the CM9 project began (with the release of Android 4.0 to AOSP). They ran into many of the same problems that Android OEMs have, that Android 4.0 was such a massive upgrade over 2.3 that many of their apps required a complete rewrite.
It was apparently a challenge worth taking, as the team expressed “extreme pride” at the results - and with as popular as CM7 has proven, we think the CyanogenMod team deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to evaluating custom ROMs. We should note that while the release candidate is “feature complete”, it’s not a true stable release - the idea is to stress test a near-finished product and find any bugs that may be hiding.
At the same time, people have been using the nightly builds of CM9 on their phones for some time now, so it’s not like we are talking about inherently buggy software. If you like to play it as safe as possible with your custom ROM you can wait a little while longer for the full stable release, but everyone else who wants in can hit up the source link below.