tool-wise, I guess the I-Rock and the I-Top Brad maker by Imaginisce are both getting popular and the new punch anywhere window maker by Fiskars looks very cool. The new Vagabond by Tim Holtz is another machine I'm looking forward to trying out. I don't really have anything on my wish list, tool-wise now, but must-have tools in my stash are my CM circle cutters (especially the new 12 inch ones), MS border punches, my corner chomper, Crop-o-dile, Cuttlebug, and Cricut.
depending on how long you have been gone...what's new...paper cutters have REALLY improved as well as punches.
You can now buy punches that are a lot easier to use (you squeeze handles instead of pushing a button) and store (some have edges that flip up or lock shut). And there are matching corner punches so you can now punch completely around the shape.
Other big improvements... probably Tim Holtz. There are more readymade, high end "designer" products you can buy for scrapbooking.