Today Octopart announced what I think is a really valuable tool. The Common Parts Library We worked with Sam and Janine over at Octopart and helped them identify popular, and more importantly, readily available parts to build a common parts library. This will be a library of components that are known to be well stocked at distributors and perhaps even your contract manufacturer (like us). What will make this library particularly valuable is when you're designing a new product and you just need to find a basic resistor, cap, LED, oscillator, or some other such part to perform a simple task, without diving into the complicated filter engines of large distributors.
Just browsing the library makes me want to design a new board. I hope you find it valuable and let us know if you think anything is missing.