In my prior entry on this topic, I discussed some of the trends shaping the "new" database paradigm, and how some of today's databases are starting to meet those needs -- it's just that people haven't taken the time to learn them.
There's a good article in April's ACM Queue magazine about the trends shaping the database world, and I particularly noted this quote that resonates with me:
Clearly, there’s plenty of work ahead for all of us. The research challenges are everywhere—and none is trivial. Yet, the greatest of these will have to do with the unification of approximate and exact reasoning. Most of us come from the exact-reasoning world—but most of our clients are now asking questions that require approximate or probabilistic answers.
This is an area of tremendous interest for me, hopefully I'll find time to talk about it more.