As someone who has spent a lot of my own time experimenting with Nutch, I have long desired to create my own "niche" search site that indexed only technology sites with clustered result categories. So, I am a little envious of ex-google employees and their family/friends who (reportedly) had $30 million of venture capital to start the cuil.com search site. Although a lot of the images don't seem to match search results, cuil.com looks pretty good - I especially like the "Explore by Category" tab that works similarly to another favorite search site clusty.com. "Explore by Category" is both cool and useful!
It is interesting that new search engines can attract a lot of venture capital: with Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo all making very large investments, it must make investors nervous - but with the upside of large financial gains if any search startup gets a good fraction of the market.