PyPy already sounded cool. If it can eliminate the GIL or find anothre route to SMP performance then it's just that much better. Cool.
I do read often that the GIL must stay. But what about Java? No GIL there. I'v even converted Python to Jython, switched to Java threads and, wow, it works great. Of course, only on a JVM. But doesn't that show the way for CPython developers? (If Sun can do it...) And I guess Prothon might also show the way if it suceeds.
Until the GIL is gone from CPython I feel like Java is still ahead, which is depressing. It's hard for me to honestly persuade Java programers to try CPython so long as there's a GIL.