I spent several hours today working on a survey that I'll be running soon; most of you know what I'm talking about already, and the rest can just wonder, I suppose. I spent most of the rest of the day playing more Oblivion. (I "paid" for my full weekend of Oblivion by putting in a couple late weeknights.) It's a great game. It's a pity that it's horribly imbalanced: the system at which you gain levels can cause monsters to become unplayably difficult simply because you made too many potions or got too much exercise. There's a difficulty slider that makes everything okay again, but it's a poor solution. But, I guess by increasing the difficulty of the enemies as you improve your skills (even non-combat skills), it keeps the game potentially challenging, which Morrowind wasn't after the first twenty levels or so.
The funny thing is that while the Elder Scrolls system of leveling up your character through use of skills and not generic experience points allows for some really fantastic freeform play, if they would have stuck with XP or some mechanism that would require you to actually fight enemies in order to level up, it wouldn't be much of a problem. I got my first eight levels or so without hardly fighting any enemies, so when I went into the wilderness, just about anything I ran into was a serious challenge. Now that I've picked up better equipment and have started using my combat skills, it's not bad, but if I manage to go up a couple levels without much combat, everything's back to kicking my butt again.
I bought an in-game house. Right now it's a couple pieces of furniture with artifacts that I can't bear to part with, but don't want to carry everywhere, sitting in disarray on the foyer table. It's not much, but eventually I'm sure it will be nice. Decorating a house is more challenging than you think. Oblivion uses the same physics engine as Half-Life 2... imagine decorating your house with the precision of the gravity gun, and you'll have a pretty good idea as to how hard it is.