I can only give you one ham's view. We had an excellent location this year, and kudus to the great folks in Atlanta for setting things up. Excellent talk at the dinner on the current status of the HST, and some really great top prizes. A TS-2000, an IC-910H, an Arrow antenna, and a huge number of smaller goodies.
Turnout was down considerably. There were about 80-90 present, which is significantly lower than normal. For the first time I can remember, the was no one from the APRS contingent there. A little restful, that. <grin!!!> One reason given by some of those not coming, was concern over the cost in a troubling economy. They did open up the President's Club reception to everybody this year. That was very successful, and I suspect that will be the case in the future. There was the usual range of presentations which covered a wide range for both the new operator, and those with years of experience. And of course AA2TX gave his usual innovative talk in his inimitable way.
There will indeed by a meeting in 2009. It will be the 40th anniversary meeting, and will be held in Washington, DC. Martha said it would probably be early in October.
All that having been said, we are definitely at a low point. These things happen to people, organizations, and economies. AMSAT-NA is going through some significant internal reorganization and soul searching. Launch opportunities are few and expensive, and there has been pressure on facilities both in the US and Germany, for different reasons. Likewise there are some shortages of people with particular skills, due to many factors. Some as simple as the march of time. Regrettably that problem is largely self-inflicted, but our new president made an eloquent plea for people to look hard at ways they can contribute. I have no doubt there will be a matching effort to utilize them. If you get the AMSAT Journal, there is a great recruiting poster on page 23 of the latest issue. None of that should or does detract from the fact that we have a strong organization, dedicate people, and lots of opportunities which will either happen, or be made to happen.