Considering the amount of calls, emails etc I get on the subject I look at the size of the eco system now and realise just how daunting it is, it was impossible to know everything that was happening with every project two years ago...now...no chance, so I totally agree with you.
I've been focusing on the business side of things, but the few projects I've kept an eye on, albeit from a distance and not very intently these days, are Dash, Shadowcoin, Monero and Zcash. I think the market broadly agrees that there's a need and a desire for coins which offer anonymity, and maybe not always for the wrong reasons...
Anonymity increases fungibility of currency...there's issues now where certain exchanges aren't accepting bitcoins which have come through mixers, essentially marking them out as different from other bitcoins. That's no good, long term.
This industry continues to fascinate me.
I also asked some friends recently, what will you do when the government issues its own blockchain based digital currency, will you allow them that power, or will you switch to public blockchains. They all said they'd willingly give the government the power to control every aspect of our financial lives, that they'd allow the government the power to freeze access to funds at will, or steal them, to be able to trace every single transaction between every single person.
This scared me.
The nonchalant attitude towards the hell that could be unleashed if this happens is still shocking.