Recently Adobe Labs has introduced a preview for a new animation programme called Adobe Edge, meant to be Adobe Flash's successor. I've downloaded it and unfortunately the preview will expire in 88 days (dec 30th... oh well)... i thought i may look into this programme and compare to to flash and see whether it is that much easier to use and whether it will limit the use of Flash in the future (as come on, let's face it, Flash constantly PMSing).
Then, THEN! i thought to bulk out the research even more, i might throw in a bit about Toon Boom. This programme has also become popular as it has an interface that encourages the use of traditional animation learning techniques and so it therefore amazing for beginners. Although, it would be purely for animation and Adobe Edge is more for web design...
I've been playing around with both programmes and will continue to do so, as well as watching some tutorials to introduce me to some more of the new functions. Here are some i've been looking at that i reckon have been quite helpful: