I would like to leave a few comments here:
1) DP is not going to have a 3 months vacation, as they are going to play in Poland and the Czech Republic in October, so that leaves little time for recording, unfortunately, because quality takes time.
2) Steve Morse - we recently had a discussion about him on deepest-purple.de. Fact is, since SM joined the band, the internal battles have stopped. Of course, if you saw Ritchie in the early Purple days - unbelievable, you'll never forget it.
3) Don Airey is a great keyborder - but he could never replace Jon Lord. I grew up with the Mk 2 line-up, loved him in Whitesnake as well and of course as a solo artist. Did you ever see Gillan with Colin Towns? At that time, I considered him the best keyborder in the rock scene right after Lordy.
4) Last tour? Well, there have been rumours about that about AC/DC this year as well. I saw them in May for the first time, not because of the rumours, I just became a real fan recently (and cursed myself for not having been to other shows before!) And they made a lot of money with that tour!
To be honest, if I could choose between a new DP tour and an album - I would opt for the tour. I will never get tired of seeing "Highway Star" and "Black Night" live. So, I guess "The battle rages on"...