Tony, I think you will see real change, the changes didn't happen lat time because they lumped a lot of changes together, some good but others bad.
Nominet are giving 5M to fund projects intended to help the wider community, because they can't give it to the members and a significant number of the members don't want the money distributed to them as it was a key part of the original setup. If you can distribute money to the members, there's a pressure to increase the price to make more money. As it is now, you could lower the price by a few pence to cut the cash pile, but if you cut it too much and there was a downturn you might run out of capital. It's only a monopoly if you must have a UK on the name, and even then you can reg a name through one of 3000 registrars from only 29p more then they pay Nominet.
If you want to pay more, just wait for the Gov to decide the fees, especially when they are trying to raise as much cash as possible.
A domain transfer is so much easier now, no paperwork, 5 mouse clicks and a tenner to change the registrant, either new or old registrant can pay. Much easier and faster then the old paper signing.
What is it that you want to innovate in a name space, more extensions so that secondary marketers can make more money?
If you need to deal direct with Nominet, you must have a crap registrar, change the tag and get a better service, there's 3000 to choose from. Failing that, get together with some mates and pay £400 to be a member, if you write off the £400 one off fee and register 173 names a year you'd be better off by 34 pence than going to the cheapest registrar.