If one reads the trade press or weblogs these days, one is certain to periodically run across irrational exuberance about the new medium of blogging, the death of print media, and so forth. "A-list" bloggers are the new "mainstream", markets are conversations and not demographics, etc, etc.
A-list bloggers' status varies quite a bit. Some are pundits with related jobs in various industries, some are journalists or otherwise already compensated for their blogging activities, and some are just really enthusiastic pro-am writers. They do have some things in common though. They update frequently, take advantage of the medium by providing lots of links to other contemporary commentary, and are generally linked together into the hypernode affectionately known as the "blogosphere".
This isn't where I've personally found value in the new medium though. The blogs that I've been interested in are those with small readership, that update infrequently, and don't link very heavily. That last point is important: linking is helpful to cite sources or more deeply understand a topic, but a blog that consists mainly of links to other things (especially links to other blogs) is not really helpful to me. If I want to keep up with a community, I subscribe to a few "planet" sites (especially the obvious one) so I've already got most of the links I need.
Coincidentally these blogs all happen to be written by people I know personally. It's one thing to get a whiff of an interesting idea in conversation; it's quite another to have it spelled out in detail in several pages of prose.
What better way to wrap up a post about how links to blogs aren't useful than with a list of links to blogs? This is an excerpt of my personal reading list that updates infrequently but have some interesting and, in my opinion, insightful things to say. Don't expect to see a lot of traffic here, but you'll generally be in for a nice surprise when some new stuff arrives in your aggregator from one of these directions...
If you're tired of the rather obvious "software commentary" category, see Tenth's livejournal, which is equally interesting but meanders to a wider array of topics. Sometimes he comments on software too, but it's ... different.