I have just heard a station from Australia (VK2TS) on the 20m band with a signal of 57. Tony's QTH is on the Eastern part of the country, 17978.7km (1171.4mi) away from my location in A Coruña. It seems to be true that we are really entering an ascending cycle as far as propagation is concerned.
The figure shows the monthly sunspot number progression up to February 2010 and the prediction for the years to come. The data for March will probably tell us if the ascending cycle will be so steep as expected, but in any case it seems that there are good times ahead for amateur radio.