Yes, was indeed from 2.4 to 2.5, and was long due.
Right now I'd say that it's a lot easier to use, though for a newbie it still takes some time to get used to the whole swapping around of the left- and right- mousekey.
Blender is one of the few open source tools where in the long run I could see myself permanently switching to it (currently also using 3DSMax/Maya).
For now it suits me perfectly for making renders, but game compatibility still seems to be a chore.
One of the downsides of it being open source, or better said: free, is that a lot of plugins aren't made commercially, and as such no support is to be expected.
It happened a few times over the years where I was working on a game/modification, and a new version of Blender would completely break a plugin (for instance, for properly exporting animated MD3-files), and no official update of said plugin would be made. Thus having to choose between working with an outdated modeling app, or going back to 3DSMax.
I hope that the future will bring more dedicated plugin writers; or better, native exporting support for the various games on the market.