Scott Gu has a post commenting on how ASP.NET 2.0 is an important underlying technology for many of the new products and technologies coming out from Microsoft in the near future.
The current versions of WSS and MCMS have introduced their own API's that you need to learn in order to master the products. For example, WSS brought on web parts and MCMS added page templates to the mix.
With the release of ASP.NET 2.0, these concepts have been built into the underlying platform on which the new version of SharePoint (including WSS and what used to be MCMS) is based. I see two important positive implications of this.
Firstly, the skills required to master the products are no longer specific to the products and good solid base skills in ASP.NET 2.0 can be utilised for a wide range of applications and products.
Secondly, the features such as web parts and page templates are no longer purely of value to solutions based on the respective products. With ASP.NET 2.0 you can take advantage of these great technologies in your own custom applications.
The upshot is: Become a champion of ASP.NET 2.0 and its extended API and you will be able to leverage those skills in a much wider space than previously. All this, of course, is only looking at the world from the technical point of view. The business problems that the different products are designed to address will continue to differ fundamentally.