QuoteBlender 2.49 has just been released. This is a fully-loaded upgrade of Blender including many game engine improvements (video textures, real-time dome rendering, a Bullet physics upgrade, an improved Python API and a hand full of overall speedups), the long awaited texture nodes, direct painting of textures on your 3D objects, improved boolean operations, JPEG2000 support and Etch-a-ton, a sketching technique for rigging.
Get it from Blender site
Install Python 2.6.2
(http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.6.2/) if you get an error at startup.