I've been finding real uses for Google Wave and I'm liking it a lot. I'm also a programmer. I've used it with great success to do some "agile" style development for some projects I work on as freelance (read: all weekend bugfixing at home to finish a project for monday) and coordinate the tasks to be done with other programmers and designers.
Because usually the list of tasks isn't fixed but the programmer/designer finds new things to fix or implement as they're working on fixing the previous ones (for example: you notice you'll need to install a third party module => "install module X in Y", the module has a bug => "fix bug in module X", etc...), the wiki-style editting capabilities of Wave are great, everyone updates his tasks, everyone can add comments on them (and delete them later) and everyone knows what the others are working on.
I've also used it for informal chitchat with friends, like the "LOST" example above. The threads are a lot easier to follow than emails with several people on the CC, but is also "asynchronous" unlike Jabber/MSN.
I've a wave with some friends were we attach every ebook we buy so we all share them with just one of us paying for every title (which is legal in my country BTW).
Mmmm... more uses... oh yes, I've used it to write drafts for articles before publishing them on my site (again, the RTE is much better than emailing and remailing you for that.)
Using is too as personal notes manager (using tags.)
Things that MUST improve the make wave perfect:
- Performance on threads with hundreds of messages (blips).
- Drop the pseudo-MDI GUI, which I hate, and use something more like Gmail.
- Allow you to receive your email inside Google Wave and reply from there so I could stop using Gmail entirely.
- A good Android/iPhone native app (the web sucks on mobile devices currently.)