Ecommerce platforms be afraid. Be very afraid. Today I stumbled on a brand new ecommerce solution under development by the extraordinary team at Varien. On top of being free and open source, the platform looks to rival the functionality of longer established, (much) higher priced ecommerce solutions on the market.
Presumably because it's still in it's pre-1.0 release phase, installing Magento on my server proved far too complicated for me to figure out on my own. Until Magento reaches the point in it's development where software practically installs itself, I won't be able to officially test it out myself. You might get lucky and find some enthusiastic young developer, who is more savvy with the finer points of programming than I, who would jump at the chance to install it for you though. In the few months since they started, an sizeable developer community has sprung up around the project.
If you ask me, It's about time someone open sourced ecommerce. Not unlike in web conferencing, the current market leaders in ecommerce platforms are so behind the curve, functionally speaking, that I was beginning to think bespoke web developers would get to keep their jobs. That's not to say there aren't some terrific, out-of-the-box ecommerce solutions available. I have nothing but good things to say about Volusion, which I might select to power the future version of Wine Menu because of my great experiences with them.