The star of the high-end market's latest good news/bad news townhouse success story is 55 East 78th Street, a 5BR, 6.5BA, 5,159-square-foot house. Good news: it sold, in a deal closed last week, for $8.5 million. It's even, according to PropertyShark, the second biggest closed deal so far in 2010, behind a Superior Ink townhouse that sold for $9.75 million. But then there's the bad news: the townhouse sold with a long, strange trip through the PriceChopper Hall of Fame. It was originally listed for $17.5 million in the fall of 2008, and the more than 50 percent chop happened in gradual 10 percent increments over the course of the next year. It was last officially asking $12.5 million, so it looks like the buyers (obscured behind an LLC) have some pretty sharp negotiating skills. And the house has already been "meticulously renovated," so the new owners can sock those savings away for retirement. The listing is gone, but the floorplan, happily, lives on.