I wish I were actually that industrious! The bump-mapped sprite does look good, but I've been at a loss how to optimize it so that I can have a bunch of them in the scene at a time. OpenGL is black magic to me - repeat the ritual, wave the chicken, maybe it will work.
I've noticed some annoying bugs in the PyCollada importer I'm using, which I'm not sure whether they're the importer's fault. If you define a component in SketchUp, then copy it several times at different rotations, they appear at incorrect rotations in the program.
I may revert to using simple sprites for a while and work on other issues for a while in the name of prototyping gameplay faster.
Other issues include the ever-present struggle to create a useful and programmer-friendly GUI system. I've got a rudimentary dialog system, but it doesn't match up well with the simple game menus and file select menus I've been using. This may wind up in 'yet another rebuild of the game engine from scratch', but that's not really a bad thing since the engine is still small.
So, I appreciate the kind thoughts, they help me stay motivated.