I think back not so fondly of the Flexinode days. My first experiences with Drupal included the now defunct flexinode module and I never really got comfortable with it. That's probably part of why I went to Xoops for awhile. I comfortably ran a community site around Biometrics on Linux for a year or so on Xoops and think it is still an option worth looking at, but when I came back to Drupal after the release of version 5, everyone was raving about CCK and Views.
I didn't shed a tear when I found out Flexinode was done. It pioneered the idea of describing your content rather than putting it all in one big box, but CCK clearly trumped over it in implementation. Drupal 5 had become much more interesting. At this point, I had yet to really learn Views and part of that was because views was still ugly and unruly in the interface. It clearly had power to demonstrate the potential of CCK, but only if you could wield it. I messed with Views some, and put it to a bit of use, but the true power evaded me because the interface didn't communicate how the module worked. Module developers were beginning to move toward CCK and solutions to many problems that had previously required custom content types began to be solved by new modules that extended both CCK and Views and recipes to put all the pieces together. This helped to solidify Views and CCK as part of the vast majority of Drupal sites.