When Flash started appearing on the scene, it was hailed as the end-all be-all, and was used for all sorts of goofy things. Then there was a backlash - search engines didn't know anything about Flash, so designers decided to use Flash for just some bells and whistles.
Now, it seems the industry has matured to the point where Flash is - as it should be - just another tool in the web designer's arsenal. (There's a corollary in music and the 12-tone music of Arnold Schoenberg, and how it started out as a musical philosophy, but has ended up as a tool in film composer's arsenal for getting a certain sound - but I digress).
I'm aware of the huge number of things Flash can do - but at this point have had no need for most of the, - especially the back-end database capability. I have been taking advantage of the new video capabilities in Flash 8 - that has been nice for a campaign website I'm webmastering (Dale Washburn for State House, Georgia district 137).
One of the things that attracted me to web design is that there is always something new to learn - and for me the key is keeping track of what the capabilites are. I can always go learn how to do something new - heavens there are tons of tutorials on the web, if you know how to search - but you've got to know something is possible first!
Well, back to the websites.