I'm a huge fanboi of GNOME Do, a keyboard shortcut application launcher. It's great, gets rid of the need for an application menu.
I installed the Firefox web browser at the youth centre, and was amazed at the number of new add-ons over at Firefox Add-ons. One that caught my eye was SiteLauncher. It's the same idea as GNOME Do; a keyboard shortcut brings up your most favoured sites and then you're only a keyboard character away from visiting one of your faves.
The only fly-in-the-face-cream is that I already use ctrl + k to enter the Firefox search box, and then use the arrow key to scroll my search engines. But it's handy for news sites nonetheless :)