DS is 2.5 years and not a big talker compared to some of his classmates. At christmas time, DH started to ask DS "Was <classmate> nice or naughty?" and most of the time, DS would say "Nice" but interestingly, there were 2 kids in particular that usually were "naughty" so we would ask "why?" and get interesting stories like they pushed him or someone else. It does seem easier to find out what the other kids did than what he did... ah well.
He came home one day, singing "slippery fish, slippery fish, swimming in the water.." and so we asked his teacher about the song - now, we got hooked on it. And he loved the wiggles for a while (to the point that he would go crazy at home if he heard it - luckily, he is not as hooked to it as he was - now, he asks for hush little baby and lucy in the sky with diamonds).
Medford, I know what you mean by being lured by flashy bells and whistles... we were looking at his current one and another daycare last year as our top two choices - the other one was definitely much flashier - if we were to go by the facilities alone, we would be at the other daycare. We still talk about some of the bells and whistles that other place has. We ended up picking the one he is at now for a few reasons - location, availability and the contact with the staff we had during the tours.
And I have come to realize that for us, the staff matters a lot more than the flashy stuff because we get along great with our director and love the teachers - and DS is blossoming there. And even in the infant rooms, where DD is now, it seems like they work hard on skills like sitting, playtime on the mats, reading (they have no swings, no exersaucers there and gated off the cribs so that the crawlers can not go into that area and shake the cribs like DS used to do at his old daycare). We also were determined to have just one daycare to deal with until kindergarten for the two kids (his current daycare goes up to private kindergarten) to make pick up and drop off less stressful and try to cut down as much as we can the time either or both kids would have to be in the car. This way too, if one of us is running late, the other parent can do the pickup and only have to go to one center.