One thing I really like about the upcoming Guild Wars 2 MMO is that even though apocalyptic dragons have torn the landscape apart, civilization actually advances. The races have access to pistols and rifles, and the charr have access to things like turret-cannons and siege weapons of utter doom. I like this. Most settings presume that if 'something horrible' happens, civilization has to be pushed back. GW2 shrugs that off, and pushes forward. Culture, clothing, weaponry, civilization, the whole shebang actually looks like it's evolved two centuries.
More settings need to do that. (I really wish the Forgotten Realms had done that between 3E and 4E...)