Game Update 61 is in the offing, and EQ2Wire has an extensive breakdown of the patch notes for what is one of the more significant non-expansion updates in the history of the game. Aside from the alternate advancement tweaks, the most significant change is a complete loot and itemization revamp. This means that there's no reason to restrict yourself to the "Golden Path" when it comes to leveling your characters. Norrath is one of the largest and most diverse game worlds in existence, and you should now see level-appropriate loot no matter where in the world you adventure.
Also of note are new dungeons that scale between levels 60 and 90 as well as the house rating system, a native video-capture and YouTube publishing feature, and the ability for your Fae and Arasai characters to fly at level 85 and up. Finally, the official EQII site has a lengthy new lore passage related to the update, and you can bone up on what's happening with the War of Zek while you're waiting for the servers to restart.