The CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, was on Nightly Business Report recently and was very optimistic about the future of Cisco. Chambers is a solid individual and not much on the hype factor. This coincides with a serious interest that's been building in me to learn more about Cisco and IOS.
On top of that, one of my good friends from high school is a reseller of Cisco gear and can't say enough good things about them. He mentioned a few new products they have: WAN accelerators, digital display networks, and of coure the existing product lines such as the Linksys products, VOIP telephone systems, routers, and switches.