Domain names truly is a game, and sometimes a vicious one at that. I have about 100 domains at various registrars and then I manage a number of domains too. I use specialized software to both manage domains and to purchase them. But it's not always fun.
Some of my favorite registrars include Joker.com (Germany), Pair.com (they also do a great job at web hosting too), 1AND1 (cheapest place I've seen with one of the easiest control panels that allows managine all domains you have there on a single web page) and I still favor old Network Solutions for when I want to invest into the 5+ year registrations. I despise Enom as they were former large-scale spammers and before they made it almost impossible to transfer a domain away from them.
Where the game gets really into play is when you have to deal with scrupulous affiliate registrars and idiot webmasters who only care to rip you off of your domain name and try to re-sell it back to you. I've also had affiliate registrars who took the name I wanted and re-sold it to another registrar and then "offered" to sell my domain back to me.
I think it's important and wise that today you find a really good registrar and one that can "lock" in your domain name having lots of security before the domain can be transferred or sold. This usually means lots of contact emails so make sure your email address lasts as long as your domain name or at least keep on top of modifying your domain name email addresses. You need to protect your domains these days.
One day the dot .COMs will be worth good real-estate prices again. I see the dot .NETs catching-up and surprisingly many, many organizations are now opting for the dot .ORGs. Last year I purchased over 30 .ORG domains largely because religious groups, some very big, are diving into a strong Internet presence.
I do not see the .us or country specific domains ever being anything more then what they are now-just regional country names that few will ever remember. I do think the dot .TV is working nicely for a number of infomercials but only because the medium of the TV is pushing the use of the domain.
Lastly, I still cherish domain names that are close to the top of the beginning of the alphabet as possible. Numeric domains can actually be beneficial here too. Domain names having keywords relevant to the content of the site will always make a strong showing, so pick your domain wisely.
Perhaps 10 years later our domains will have some value that we can pass them along to our children who will benefit from our domain game fun now.