simple yet effective
The monome 40h is a new interface that is made in super SF style, they profess love of free software, the bike, they tell you to recycle the packaging, etc. They say they will release the source to the firmware, hopefully they do. (this might be the source).
I must say that when I first saw the device, I was very skeptical of its use as an instrument. Its just a bunch of buttons. And the most obvious use is to control a step sequencer, so it would be a really simple step sequencer in hardware, not so exciting. But they actually have some nice demos of it that make it a lot more interesting in the context of something like Ableton Live:
Here's Daedalus playing it:
I think it does show that sampling/laptop performance does become a lot more interesting when it actually looks like the performer is doing something other than checking email.