Only fools buy semiconductor stocks as long term, for life, investments. they are cyclical stocks that ebb and flow with economic cycles, terrible in slowdowns, have been for years, nice to rent, horrible as long term investments
The compressed P/E makes it a long term buy and hold at these prices, and by your own reasoning Intel is set to soar soon anyhow since politicians will not allow the economy to falter and go over the cliff, 2013 and beyond we will see a return to economic growth, taking cyclical stocks to highs not seen since the last upswing. The downside is of course inflation, then again stocks are good to own when inflation runs rampant. Economics isn't just looking at things as they are but also anticipating how economic policies enacted by central banks will shape the economy tomorrow.
Semiconductor specific cycles in the past were caused by self inflicted over capacity - not by macroeconomic up and downs.
Nowadays there are only a handful of companies that make up 90% of capex.
Chipmakers used to add capacity in anticipation of demand - now they wait until the last minute (see most recent 28nm crunch).
The self inflicted bust and boom of the semiconductor industry is a thing of the past.