i missed a lot of the sessions but it turns out there were 2 that surprised me w/ their content:

geddyJS – frameworks. in the young stage of js/node that we’re at we’re finally seeing frameworks. but this presenter thinks the next logical step is code organisation. some of the web frameworks suggest a little code organization but when projects get large it still turns to spaghetti. this guy is obviously a rails fan and he’s built a framework similar to rails. i’m on the fence with rails but i’m psyched where this is going. it builds routes for you and creates resource models like users, etc.. via command line calls. it’s part code generator and structure.
http://geddyjs.org/

real time collaboration – though the premise was missing from this talk, the tech was intriguing. Kav (he was the “lead” on the team mark and i were on at our first startup weekend) is developing a framework for building real-time collaborative apps (think Turntable.fm) where you have to keep multiple browsers in sync.
this is where the beauty of using js on the client and server starts really paying dividends. using a combination of socket.io/backbone.js and some other shit(tm). syncing models over socket.io seems like a great idea. his company is like Liffft or something. Backbone is a bit heavy-handed, but it would help if you didn’t have too many models. if you were building a game you might roll your own model but still use socket.io for syncing. i’m getting the feeling that socket.io (and/or other node socket stuff) is the next Ajax.

here’s some other stuff i dug up on this:

http://andyet.net/blog/2011/feb/15/re-using-backbonejs-models-on-the-server-with-node/
http://developer.teradata.com/blog/jasonstrimpel/2011/11/backbone-js-and-socket-io

miscellaneous:

cool js tools for building and continuous integration.

jake and concrete
https://github.com/isaacs/node-jake
https://github.com/ryankee/concrete