Tom Richards: I am trying to approach .NET from the point of view that I don't want to just be a coder or programmer.  I have been working and studying aspects other than how to create a good winform or webform.  I am more interested in how to create application that are testable, buildable, maintable and with "standard"s if possible.  Not only am I more interested in a more "systems" view I would like that kind of experience to differentiate me from some of the "kids".
Anyway, I plan to keep on studying these "standards", following weblogs and mail lists and trying to differentiate between what is real and what is not.

It's good to follow and study WS-* specs. But it's also important to understand that these specs are about infrastructure that applications will use rather than implement. It's also important to realize that the specs that have been published and implemented so far provide sufficient infrastructure for many types of applications. One need not wait until every single WS-* spec is standardized by some standards body. Write code. Don't wait for standards bodies.