There's an interesting article that ran in the international edition of USA Today about wood tennis racquets. Apparently a slew of current tour players were asked to hit with traditional wooden frames and compare them to the modern racquet technology. (One of them, Novak Djokovic--currently the #5 player in the world--had NEVER hit with a wood racquet before!) The common consensus--not surprisingly--was great feel, much less power.
Part of me wishes the tennis authorities did what the baseball folks did: limited the professional game to to the traditional equipment (i.e., wood racquets with smaller head sizes) while allowing the rest of us to benefit from technological advances. The problem with this, of course, is a commercial one: the racquet companies use the top players to drive sales of new racquets. Coaches and teaching pros see this first-hand, too. For example, I am on the HEAD advisory staff, which means I get a couple of free racquets every year. There is a clear push to adopt the company's new technology every season. So as someone who has been using the Prestige line of sticks, I have migrated from the iPrestige to the Liquidmetal Prestige to the Flexpoint Prestige as HEAD has upgraded the line and discontinued the older versions. (This time next year I'll be wielding the Microgel Prestige, by the way, which will be released late this year or early next.)
Of course the irony is that most of the top pros don't even play with the racquet it LOOKS like they are playing with. At that level of the game, the athletes are so attuned to the exact details of their equipment that the companies produce "paint jobs" for them-customized versions of older models that are made to resemble the current version. It's pretty much an open secret on the tour. Hence Roger Federer's "new" Wilson racquet this year is just a cosmetically altered version of the same frame he's been comfrotably winning with for years. Marat Safin, who plays with the aforementioned HEAD Prestige line, actually uses a Prestige Classic 600 frame, a discontinued model he won the U.S. Open with in 2000, but it has been painted to look like the iPrestige, the Liquidmetal Prestige, and the Flexpoint Prestige over the years (and no doubt soon the Microgel Prestige will follow).
Had the pros stuck with the wooden racquets, none of this would be necessary (though even in the 1970s, Ilie Nastase was notorious for having Wilson racquets painted to resemble adidas models to satisfy his sponsor without playing with inferior equipment). But it's doubtful the world's top players would be getting big bucks for using racquets that most of the rest of us would never dream of buying when we could be using graphite composites, oversized heads, wide bodies, and the rest.