Having just come into this 3 wks ago and started about 8 blogs for various uses, mostly for others, I have tried and downloaded legions of plugins! Still dont really have a clue what I am doing. But, the WP-ShortStat plugin blows away everything else I have found for sheer usability (I didnt want to show stats publicly, only in the admin). WP-ContactForm means my email address is not on the website, lovely. Various feed plugins are interesting but none as stupidly easy to use as RSS Fetched Link List. IImage Browser should be in WP already.
So what happened to the plugin official competition? It may be I just cant find the results when i search. However. Making plugins that work great and are trivial to install.... eternally grateful.