Good topic, though I'm not sure the subject describes it well.
Give my experience with various CAD programs the idea, "it has all been done before," is unique to those who have only used AutoCAD.
Example, the MinDist tool recently posted. It is an often used tool in Microstation. But it gets little notice within the AutoCAD community simply because users are too set in their ways IMO. They simply cannot see the value of it at first glance, so they ignore it.
So the real question may be how to encouarge folks to think outside the box.