So far, I’d say that Flex and Flexbuilder is a bit of a departure for Adobe / Macromedia – but a good one. Finally there is a true development environment for delivering flash content on the scale of industy-standard web development platforms. It essentially follows the Java model (and is going opensource in V3). I love the built-in handling of webservices, XML data, and the event-driven model. This allows for rich internet applications like those shown on the adobe devNet. I use it a lot for making “front end” web sites that are driven by data from other sources provided by clients. So far, I’ve found it vastly superior to the way data and events were handled in previous versions of flash. That said, there’s quite a learning curve for AS1 / 2 developers.
And now, with Flash CS3 being released, the door is open for much more freedom in design of content. This means you can actually place Flash 9 content into SWF loaders in Flex and have them communicate without a localConnection workaround.