We are cutting an alpha release some time next week, but I let Manik answer.
This is really alpha, as we still have 50 out of 113 issues open. We may push some issues into 1.4, as we want to release in the Feb/March time frame
we're cutting 1.3.0.DR1 this week and after QA certifies it, it will be made available.
If you want to have a look right now, look in CVS for the tag JBossCache_1_3_0_DR1
Feedback will be very much appreciated. :-) And yes, we do have an optimistic locking implementation that you could start using.