Brett is a power user for this sort of program, but I'm brand new to it. After investing $100 into the OmniFocus applications only to wind up frustrated with them weeks later, I had started to look to Things when the private beta for The Hit List came out. I wanted a place where I could keep complicated to-do lists for projects alongside simple lists for basic tasks such as a to-read list and what books I wanted from the library.
The Hit List hits that sweet spot where it's got enough features for power users, but the absolute beginner can tailor it to their own needs -- much like Literature and Latte's Scrivener for the writing crowd. Some of the included features that beta testers enjoyed include being able to navigate the program almost completely via keyboard (think Quicksilver) and a slick timer that lets you know exactly how much time you've spent on a task, a tagging system that syncs well with iCal (at least from my experience), tabbed interface and more.
The Hit List is moving from private to public beta with the official release candidate now available. A Google Group for users has also been set up. The Hit List will retail for $69.95, but the pre-order price is $49.95 and will be available at that price until version 1.0 is released. The Hit List's future does include an eventual iPhone app.
And, a great little Easter Egg: While examining the package's contents, I discovered audio cues set to Super Mario Bros. and Star Wars. I haven't figured out where in the application they're used yet, but if you've tested it and figured it out, let us know in the comments!