Glad to hear the shout out for the Decktet. This is truly a fascinating game system and you all should definitely pick up a set.
The decktet is structured somewhat like a traditional deck of cards, except there are SIX suits and each card is DUAL suited. This opens up some fabulous design possibilities.
As for specific games to try out...
Magnate is a very cool 2-player comparison / resource engine game. Terrific. Goblin Market is a subtly tricky auction game. Also see Emu Ranchers as an interpretation of Lost Cities.
And one point didn't come up in your discussion about Abstract Games. I actually think that Abstract games are MORE likely to be of interest and a success to non-gamers. Have you been in specialty learning / toy stores or mass market stores recently? Once you get past the Monopoly, Risk, and Sorry variants - TONS of best-selling games (see Mesa Select Winners) are ABSTRACTS (Pentago, Blokus, Qwirkle, Quoridor).
I'd venture to guess that the general public is more likely to perceive and recognize an ABSTRACT as a game of strategy and be willing to play than something heavily thematic. Abstracts are typically understood to be "a minute to learn; a lifetime to master" and as such are substantially more approachable from a learning standpoint.
In parallel, more abstract card games that bear a resemblance to traditional card games (see Decktet above) are also more approachable and acceptable to the general public. See the success of games like Phase 10, UNO, and countless other abstract card games found in the mass market.
Great episode - I enjoyed the laughs quite a bit. Cheers!
My strongest reaction to the podcast was the discussion about ABSTRACTS! Clearly, Cyrus, you have an revulsion for them that goes beyond reason.
Seriously, I find them generally easier to introduce to people because it is seen as a more "adult" game. As for replayability, I will point out that nearly all of the "lifestyle" games are abstract, or (at least themeless) - chess, go, bridge, backgammon, cribbage - need I go on?
About the abstracts games, it depends on the target, if I want to play a game with my father in law it's easier if it's an abstract, as he is not much into the Mythos thing, so each time I take out Arkham Horror he looks to my wife thinking why he couldn't find someone normal.
Nonetheless, I will get better. This has been my worst gaming year since I picked the hobby back up. I have played about a third of what I normally play in a year. Last month, our gaming group celebrated four years, though this year we missed a month for the first time; actually we missed about five. I need to start pressing more, not only in my writing, but also in going to conventions and in finding additional ways to game.