I was digging around in my sandbox area recently and came across some work Jamie and I did on cookietrails (or breadcrumbs as they are also referred to) a few months ago.
We decided we were kinda unhappy with the whole "cookietrail" thing... because, well, they're not really cookietrails, nor are they breadcrumbs. They are more like signposts... a map of "you are here", rather than "how did I get here" - which is what a cookietrail is really for.
With this in mind, the traditional design of pointing the arrows to the right (towards your current page) makes no sense at all. Really, the arrows should be pointing to the parent page, meaning "I live in here, and my parent page lives in here, and that page lives in here, etc".
We also decided that the "You are here" label that is occasionally used is almost always in the wrong place (at the start). Surely it should be pointing to your current page, where you actually are.
Wow, cookietrails are flawed.
So then I got thinking about making them more useful by combining them with submenus. The idea being that you could jump straight to a sibling page of an ancestor in one click. For example, you're in "Products < Accessories < Gold Necklace", and you can jump to a sibling of the "Accessories" category, such as "Jumpers", in one click. It's like having a submenu for each page's ancestor on every page - awesome!
This is what I came up with (only tested in Webkit) - feel free to play around with the concept, I'd love to see what other people come up with using the same idea. If you've got something to show, post it in the comments below.