Came across this thread at Nick W.'s popular ThreadWatch. Between the actual article and the input of many smart commenters it makes for a great read.
Great insight into the interrelatedness of changing and newly started search engines.
The speculation on how the industry is going to evolve has recently increased - though the idea of a move to vertically niched engines does seem to be a stretch.
The SES Conference starting tomorrow should prove a great source of insights of the months ahead.
I will post back here about the sessions I attend and any interesting gossip I come across.