Apparently Sony has pulled a fast one and for whatever reason did not even tell us. The guys over at PlayStation LifeStyle have discovered that the friends list limit is no longer 50. This update either came with the 2.36 firmware update or the PLAYSTATION Network maintenance from the other day. If it was in the update you figure they would have included it in the changelog, so it seems that it was the maintenance period that added this.
It is strange that for one of the most requested features from fans that Sony has not said a word about this. I myself am right at about 50 friends, so this is much needed. Now the question is what is the new limit imposed? Only time will tell. Also, I have yet to test this personally, but will know soon enough at the limit I am at. If anyone else tests this and can also confirm it true, it would be much appreciated.
Update: I now officially have 51 friends on my list. Rumor confirmed true, and the limit is 100 now.