If you didn't get to make it to RailsConf 2006, all I can say is you should make more of an effort next year (May 17-20 in Portland). It was an amazing gathering of some really great people, and the most fun and worthwhile event I've attended in years. Many people did the heavy lifting of blogging pretty much the entire conference so I didn't have to. You can find all sorts of write-ups and pictures on Planet RailsConf, and the flickr stream is worth checking out as well.
For me personally, it was wonderful to get to meet so many of the folks from #caboose, and to get to see some of the people I met at SVRC in April. Then there was everyone else... I just kept meeting one interesting person after another, and am still pretty exhausted because far too often it seemed conversation was more important than sleep. It was definitely cool to meet so many people who read my blog - all of you who said hi to me, thanks, it made my day over and over.
I'm hoping to see some good stuff happen in the next year. Dave Thomas threw down the gauntlet in his keynote, and if we rise to half the challenges he made then using Rails could be even simpler in many ways. And David Heinemeier Hansson set forth a different kind of vision in his keynote: a simplification of controllers using HTTP methods as verbs. It's essentially a clever use of polymorphism, something that always makes me smile. Over the next week or two I'm going to write some about my thoughts on this direction and do my best to explain this REST and ActiveResource stuff that all the cool kids are talking about.
Oh yeah, I think I'll have an obedience lacquer t-shirt design soon. Koala, stay tuned!