I come not to praise the blogroll, but to bury it. The problem with the blogroll is that it is too static. I have no idea if half those links are alive or dead. I have no clue when the last post was for a given blog, although some blogrolls give a kind of visual cue to suggest that it was recently updated.
Seen Netvibes? Pageflakes? These allow you to create a page full of RSS feeds. So what if the blogroll was replaced by a page entitled, "What I'm Reading," and it showed the blogs that would have been listed on a blogroll, but instead showed the most recent post from all the blogs that I do read?
Andy Brudtkuhl did something like this when he created Central Iowa Bloggers' News River page. This page takes the most recent posts of a bunch of us Iowa bloggers and streams them together.
Now combine the two concepts and I think that's a much better presentation of the soon-to-be-dead blogroll.
This replacement should appear almost like contacts in a contact list. Picture, name, blog link, description of the blog, perhaps a statement on why I read it regularly, and then the blog's most recent post. Then when people see my blogroll, they get a much better understanding of why I browse the blogs that I do.
And of course, at the end of it all, a link to the OPML feed so that they can import it into their news reader. But better if I can checkmark those that interest me and then create a dynamic OPML file for myself based on the blogs in the list that I fancied.
I wish I had time to work on this, but I don't. I'm very busy with wedding plans and moving into a new house. But if you like the idea, how would you tweak it to make this concept better?