I haven't been following this thread, but do love games.
I don't know if it's been mentioned before, but we started playing Istanbul this holiday. I really like it, and I don't know any games that are similar. I've also never known any games to have SO many different parts or pieces, just setting it up has about 20 different things you have to do. Still, the actual game-play works very nicely. I like that it has a board that can be changed around for a shorter or longer game. The point of the game is to collect gems, and they are so pretty you actually really DO want to go out and collect them. There also are so many different ways of playing it. I taught it to 5 people who wanted to play, without playing myself. Without picking up a strategy from someone who had played before, each person went about playing in a completely different way. It's also similar to Ticket to Ride (another family favourite) in that everyone gets into their only little game, that it almost doesn't matter who wins in the end. I kind of like that. Each turn is like deciding what you want to do around Istanbul that day..."Oh I quite fancy popping into the mosque/post-office", "Let me see what I can get for these rings at the large market, today".
We played a lot of Ticket to Ride as well, with the 1912 expansion pack. Also, Zum um Zug the German board. Eurgh I hate that version. Much too stressful, and far too competitive for me.
I also played the Werewolf game. We only played twice...but it didn't work as smoothly as I think it was supposed to. It was good fun to see how little some people trust other people, though.
Played Dixit a LOT. Unfortunately, I figured out the reason why I used to lose so badly is that I sort of enjoyed coming up with my own interpretation of those beautiful illustrations, whether people would be able to guess the clues or not. Then I realised it's pretty strategic, and a lot of the game is about using as many inside jokes as you can manage. I still like the pictures though.
Someone also gave me Rapscallion for Christmas, but haven't been able to figure out the rules just yet.