I also am in the domain name biz since Jan of 1999. I think that the ccTLD's are going up in value and the big one is .us. Look at all the new sales in the .us.
Look at VOIP.us just sold for $25,000, industry.us sold for $17,000 and CellPhones.us sold for $12,250. This all happen in the last 5 months. There is only 856,982 .us sold, and in the .com there is 37,396,000 sold, so there is so many good .us domain names still there, but you better move as the more .us sell for big money the more will be registered.
I own many .com domain names and own maybe 50 .us domain names. I own some top level .us domain names like WallStreet.us, Mp3.us, Computers.us, Paintings.us, Reservations.us. But I also own some in the .com that I think are great like WhatsOnline.com, USSports.com, and many more.
I think that a good domain name needs to first have easy words to spell and remember and in some I like the keyword in the domain name.