Also, Black and White Cinematography doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to this category in the Oscars. The last winner was Schindler's List, but since then, the only other nominees we've had have been The Man Who Wasn't There and Good Night and Good Luck, with movies like Ed Wood and The Good German being left out of the mix. While there aren't a lot of movies being shot in black and white, this does seem to be a category that recognizes capturing and manipulating of color over artistic bleakness.
From somebody who has done both color and black and white photography, it is definitely more difficult to capture color photography the way you want it other than black and white. Even though The White Ribbon was shot primarily in color, then corrected into black and white in post (and still not having seen the film yet), in any other year, it would definitely be the odd film out. However, with Avatar being primarily lighting added in during post, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince having a distinct color scheme and a couple of scenes with unique lighting effects, The Hurt Locker having only moments of brilliant color cinematography and the rest being well-orchestrated chaos and Inglorious Basterds having the industry standard for beautiful cinematography, The White Ribbon seems like a top contender.
However, with it not being very widely seen and, as oscarguy has pointed out, foriegn films generally have an uphill battle in this category. For every Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Pan's Lanbyrinth, there is a Malena, Amelie, City of God, House of Flying Daggers, A Very Long Engagement and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Foreign films and Black and White films seem to struggle in this category and the only way that I would see The White Ribbon coming out on top here is if it had generated a lot of steam which equated to a US box office of over $50 million and being discussed outside of the filmgoing community.
That being said, I'm predicting Inglorious Basterds for the win, here. It would be Richardson's third oscar and give Inglorious Basterds two awards, leaving Best Original Screenplay open for The Hurt Locker to win. If The Hurt Locker wins here, expect Inglorious Basterds to take Best Original Screenplay.
"You are what you love, not what loves you." - Nicholas Cage; Adaptation