Tonight was the first time since we moved into the new house that I spent some serious time tuning around the HF bands and listening. I was kind of amazed at how much I was hearing - for example, right now on 40M I am hearing 13 CW, 2 Olivia, and 2 SSB contacts between 7000 and 7100 kHz, and that's only with a piece of coax running under our house (none of my antennas are up yet).
Unless we've had a resurgence of ham activity lately, my only conclusion is that the noise level at my new QTH is way, way, WAY better than the old one. There, on a typical weeknight, I could only hear a couple of CW and maybe 1 digital QSOs above the S7-S9 noise.
By comparison, I'm hearing AC2K in Redmond, WA, and he's S8 on this underground antenna, while the background noise level is S0 or S1. I'm getting excited!