The critically acclaimed X-Box Media Center which is a HTPC program for the X-Box is planning to work on a Linux version. Bizarrely some of X-Box Media Center inspired Media Portal, the very good and comprehensive HTPC program for Windows.
They are looking for C/C++ developers to help with the porting to another platform. This will require substantial work to port the functionality requiring new playback engines, 2D and 3D graphics, and no doubt lots more.
There is a thread on their forum for developers here. There is a post on the forum for end users here.
On their wiki the preparations are going along. You can read this information here.
I have the sincerest hope this is successful because with MythTV out there things will be healthy for Linux HTPC programs. Also, it is a good thing it will be built out of open-source and free tools.