This year I bought an unfinished album - with a chipboard cover and just a stripe of red fabric. I found some paper I loved but found rather over-powering to use on a layout and simply added some ribbon and number stickers. I think the result is rather good and certainly makes my album unique.
I always used to scrap in 12x12" pages but last year I stepped out of my comfort zone and experimented with different sized layouts. The American Crafts albums work well for this. I bought a selection of their page protectors all with 3 holes in so I can chop and change to fit my layout. The only thing I would say is you need to keep an eye on the sizes you use so that you don't have any gaps. I've become more relaxed about not having my layouts in perfect chronological order but filed in season roughly suits me.
I love the way that as you flick through the album you see glimpses of other layouts and I find it a more flexible way of scrapping. Some layouts just don't need a full 12x12" page/ My favourite is fast becoming 8.5x11" portrait (seen here the page on the left entitled 'Beauty on the Beach' .