They’re not quite to the promised land yet (even remembering that the beam energies are a lot lower than we eventually want them to be). A little while ago we had beam traveling through the accelerator, which is obviously a big step. These splash events happen when the beam collides into something “upstream,” creating a splash of particles that are then detected by the experiment. The big step will be when beams moving in opposite directions actually collide with each other inside the detector. I predict you’ll hear soon when that happens.
You can follow CMS at its Facebook fan page. 528 fans, I’m sure we can boost that number.
I already have a bet with Brian Schmidt that we will fine at least 3-sigma evidence for the Higgs within five years (either at Fermilab or the LHC). Feeling pretty optimistic right now.