I hear you Rusty. I'm enjoying my model railroading by doing my electronics projects, track planning, and structure building/weathering right now. Not my favorite which is scenery, but it all needs done and until I finish my basement and start building the layout it doesn't matter anyways.
Unfortunately everyone I have spoken with at MTH said they plan on doing reissues first. IF those go well then we may see new tooling. I hope that isn't true because that could be years from now at this pace. I have always disliked the "you better buy what we give you or we won't make anything new" approach, but it seems to be the way things are going.
As far a Lionel is concerned I believe Jon Z. has been able to shrink the size of the electronics to a size sufficient to allow smaller models to be made. That's fantastic news! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Lionel is interested in new tooling these days. Especially in S. In my opinion, they way over estimated the S market and I agree with you on the Heritage units. It boggles my mind that they have still yet to deliver a turnout in their track system. How can you expect to win new modelers if they don't have a track system to run on? The last catalog shows how much they have pulled back their investment in S. I caught a lot of flack when I mentioned that a while back, but I think it is pretty evident now.
I still hope the best days are in the future. S is so close to being the perfect scale. O scale junior or HO Grande. My current frustration is around track. Things on the Hi-rail side are a bit worse now then they were 2 or 3 yrs. ago. Tom isn't able to make turnout's right now, and Lionel and MTH haven't delivered turnouts. Even when they do they are only 20"r. That leaves AM as the only viable source. Carl T. has a very nice layout using that system, but it isn't my favorite and I'm still looking for an alternative. I guess I'm glad I'm not ready to build because I don't know what I would do if I had to start today. Perhaps hand-lay code 125 or 138 turnouts for use with MTH/SHS flex?
I hope things pick back up. There are so many products to be made. The playing field is wide open. I still believe that if they build it the people will come. I'm hanging on by a thread myself. I'm actually playing with On30 right now to pass the time.