Microsoft releases Sharepoint Designer 2007 as a free download
The page states that Microsoft is "implementing a number of changes to promote and facilitate even more customization efforts on top of the SharePoint platform." One good way to do that is to get more developers to download and use Designer, and making it free should certainly help things along.
In general, the developer community is always slightly aloof when Microsoft announces they're releasing something for free. To ease minds, they put together a Q&A page to shed some light on the hows and whys of the Sharepoint change.
You'll need an MSN passport to sign in, but many of you either had one or created one so you could download the Windows 7 beta.