Technically, Limerick and Waterford are better off than last year as they're in a higher division. Limerick were expected to be in the promotion push this year, but a bad start left them off the pace.
However, they won their last two games and are back on track. Waterford also have four points but will do well to avoid the drop, as will Tipp. Still, it's very close, both at the top and bottom in this group.
Cork's natural momentum is carrying them smoothly through the Division 1 campaign while Kerry are remoulding for summer.
Munster is really two provinces, featuring Cork/Kerry and the rest. What's more, Limerick, Waterford, Clare and Tipperary are unlikely to ever emerge as forces at top level while the current system exists.
However hard they try, the weight of history weighs down on them and tends to manifest itself most when the pressure comes on against Cork and Kerry.