I just spent two full days at our group's (Elgar Fleisch) Doktorandenseminar. Each Ph.D. student had to present his current state of research. After three talks per session we did feedback walk-arounds such that each participant had the chance to comment - quite thrilling. I presented (slides) my understanding of research and tried to provide some lessons about publishing.
The event was very inspiring - despite spending time in the same office space we're still not of aware of all the projects going on...
Definitely a highlight were the lessons learned from Mikko Lehtonen (he just defended recently), he recommended to seek for a practical problem (motivation), start with an overview paper, circulate between own concepts and related work, design EU project reports as papers, define your stake in projects, write down your conclusions, copy from overview paper, copy from your papers - and the thesis is done! He obviously enjoyed Jakob Badram's Fish model presented at Ubicomp 2007's doctoral consortium.
There is no better way of getting a condensed view about what's going on in the brains of our twenty-something Ph.D.s and getting their views about my research in return!