I wrote earlier that we are programming a MMORPG at the university. We now use Python and Panda3D to develop it. We demoed it at our university's lobby to masses two weeks ago and it gained interest.
I'm making my own 3D engine at the moment, using C++ and OpenGL. I recently learned to use VBOs (Vertex Buffer Objects). They didn't speed the engine up much when compared to display lists, but my graphics card, especially its drivers, are crap. And I thought that Intel makes quality. My X4500HD using i915 driver doesn't have VSync, 3D is slow and there's distortion on the screen sometimes. I hope those problems are fixed in Kubuntu 9.04's software stack.
Anyway, back to my engine. When we used Panda3D I learned this nice thing called a Scene Graph and implemented it to my C++/OpenGL engine. A scene graph means that models and lights can be inserted into a graph so that their position/rotation etc. are dependent on their parents in that graph. Say, I can make a human character and put a sword to its arm. When I rotate or move the human, the sword rotates or moves also. Simple and elegant.