I think they originally planned to have just 10 episodes this season, but after Adult Swim bumped it to 16 they broke it into halves. (Or it sounds better to say it's one season of sixteen than to say it's one season of eight followed by another season of eight. Or it'll sell more DVDs. I can't seem to find the quote at the moment)
Whatever the situation, new episodes can't come soon enough.
Agreed. I haven't seen Episode 9 yet, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this show so far. The slow burn from Jimmy to Saul has been perfectly executed and the acting from all angles is excellent(Jonathan Banks should get recognized for his work in Five-O.)