I'm currently looking at physics libraries and will probably use one of the following:
I would like to use PhysX (especially now that it's free for commercial development on the PC), but as far as I can tell an end user of the game would need to download (about 20 megs) and install the Aegia system software to be able to run the game - which might be more trouble than it's worth. Right now i'm leaning towards Newton, but I would be a lot happier if it was either open source or the developer promised to release it under a BSD style license if development/support on it stopped.
I need to do some research into what I want to use for sound and possibly networking (initially i'll probably just be doing some small single player games and won't need it). I also need to figure out what type of game I want to be working on, right now i'm leaning in the direction of something like Super Monkey Ball - if only because it seems like a realistic goal.
As for actual gaming, i'm still slowly working my way through Okami (i've spent about 50 hours on it so far), I really like that game. I'm also playing Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, and enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.