The last five blog entries were a lot of "off-the-top-of-my-head" list writing. Mostly remembering what people had said or the "I wish there were" comments. Just so no one misunderstands the tone….
The SQL Server 2005 version of SQL Server has more new features by order of magnitude (at least from a developer perspective, though I think a rewritten SSIS and the UDM concept qualify too) than any other delta of SQL Server. It took a herculean effort by a large number of people. We know who you are. THANKS.
There had to be some things postponed, especially with radical features, to see how relatively popular the feature would be. As an example, I've yet to see the "killer user-defined aggregate" that we couldn't ever have lived without. If you have one, let me know. I AM NOT complaining that the product doesn't have every one of these features now (in most cases), just enumerating some constructive suggestions for futures. That were solicited.
I've also been told that I don't like to throw away "abusable" features, features that are powerful but can cause problems if used incorrectly. Yep. User (programmer and DBA) education, is the solution to this. Why should users who know when to use a feature (and when not to) be penalized because some folks will potentially abuse a feature?
For the long list of things that I liked about SQL Server 2005 see the early blog entry here. I actually wrote a book (something I said I'd never do again), am working on an update to the book, and changed the company I worked for, to spend more time with this product and people who are associated with it. That's my testimonial.
Use the lists for what you will. Cheers.