Just like a lot of you...I made out well with items from Penguin Magic this Holiday, of course I asked a wide variety of people for help then bought some of my own too. Since I seem to enjoy effects that don't seem to be the most "popular", I'll let you know a little about them:
1) Real Magic by Jay Sankey - Even though I'm 32 years old, this video was GREAT. Jay teaches you how to PERFORM true magic that just happens to be simple. Great education for anyone wanting to perform real magic! (As A. Altinsel said, the melting rubber bands alone is worth this one! I was floored when I saw it.)
2) Astral Projection - Can't say enough. Well worth the money and gets GREAT reactions. Very easy to perform. I pissed my dad off with this one (and he was burning my hands the entire time)!
3) Bob Kohler's Black Envelope - Anyone looking for a REPUTATION maker need look no further. I was screaming obscenities at the performances on the DVD because there was NO WAY this could happen. Not the easiest effect in the world, but serious magic for serious performers.
4) Reality Twister - Not sure about this one yet. Looks like it could be cool, but I need to spend more time with it. It's deceptively easy, but hard to master (in my opinion). I need to try it out on someone besides myself before I make up my mind.
5) Other effects I got that are worth getting are...The Raven, Pen through Dollar, 3D Rabbits (cute), Impossible Matrix, Healed and Sealed (absolutely ingenious), and Bobo's Coin Magic Book (probably the best buy of all, but did not get through Penguin).
Sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps some of you to decide what you might want. Don't forget to spend time learning from classic books! These "tricks" are supplements to an exciting performance. If you have any questions, just let me know! I'm new to magic (approximately 2 months experience), but developing VERY quickly - probably because I'm ancient, no doubt