D&D Insider: Legends and Lore
(linked article does not require a DDI subcription)
Monte Cook struck out in his first at-bat with his new gig writing the Legends and Lore column for Wizards of the Coast. His ideas about how Perception should work were basically the same as the system already in play in 4E, and his column seemed to betray that he didn't really have a grasp on the system in question.
Today, though, in his second article, he hit a home run. He turned the spotlight on magic items, and made a point that's been a primary grognardian criticism of 3rd and 4th Edition D&D since the beginning: magic items have lost their magical feel, and it's because they are no longer a reward but have become an expected part of character advancement, and, indeed, a requirement to maintain PC power levels as they advance through the game.
Ha! And he takes this swipe at the system right on the heels of the release of Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium, the finest collection of magic items WotC has given us to date.
This is a good thing. Monte's clearly been paying attention to the old-school gaming movement. This definitely bodes well for the direction of the game. Word is that a 5th Edition is on its way, and if this is a primary assumption of the system, magic items as actual reward and not mechanical filler in the overglorified name of "balance", then maybe Wizards will strike gold.