This release of GNOME has been mostly about polish and more polish. The number of new applications included in this cycle is quite low. Evolution 2,0 and Rhythmbox were initially the two major new applications which were to be included in GNOME 2.6. However, the maintainers of both the projects ultimately backed off, citing stability issues. I think it is OK for a project like GNOME to have a "polish and tweakup" release once in a while.
After the mirrors of this site being down for a while due to a slashdot post, here it is :)