gawd you are dreaming. The Republicans have such a visceral hate for Obama, they will not do everything they can to ensure that we go over the cliff. They want to show Obama as a weak leader. They know that most of tax issues can be resolved at some point but only after the market is devastated for a while.
They are all saying progress is being made- that is BS- no progress- they are actually going backwards. Boehner and his clowns will put the nail in the coffin tonight.
Keep in mind that previous showdowns like this have taught that those who were seen as refusing to reach an agreement ended up losing political capital, being seen as obstructionists who stood in the way rather than scoring points for standing their ground and being strong. After the 1995/96 government shutdown, public opinion overwhelmingly placed the blame on the Republican leadership for digging in their heels and refusing to compromise. Clinton wasn't seen as a weak leader for not getting a deal done in time; in fact, he was the one who was credited with showing strength and resolve, willing to compromise but refusing to be bullied.
The Republicans know that if no deal is reached, Obama will submit his plan for an up-or-down vote. Then it's either yes or no, so they'd have to either accept his plan, or be seen as the ones saying "no". They know that this is their last chance to compromise before having to choose between accepting the president's plan or taking the blame from the public. They've already lost a lot of political capital recently. Party identification has shifted significantly toward the Democrats since the election. They can't afford to lose more by being seen as too stubborn to get things accomplished. Not passing an agreement to avoid the cliff could lose them the House in two years, and they know it.
I do think whatever deal they come up with now would be a stopgap that kicks the can a few weeks to a few months down the road, but that would be enough to make the markets bounce (though they'd sell off again).