First off, I finally got my new laptop last Tuesday. It's an MSI 683US - in other words, a gaming laptop with a dedicated graphics card. Suffice to say, it's working beautifully - no more random slowdown and noisy CPU that probably wasn't healthy.
As far as Creatures goes, this thing runs C3 and DS (C3 from the Creatures Trilogy, and DS from the free install - I'm not touching Exodus with a 10 foot pole if I don't have to, given all the inconveniences I've heard about it) perfectly fine, along with all the programs necessary for development (in my case, that would be the Genetics Kit and CAOs Tool - I haven't gotten around to installing the Map Editor yet). So once I get around to developing again, there will be no issues.
But there's more - the increased processor can also handle FRAPs and Creatures running at the same time - in other words, I can record videos now as well. I still need to get the hang of editing and whatnot, but once that's done I might record a video of some of my projects (and possibly make promotional videos for the ones I've completed). Just don't expect commentary from me - apart from my not being very fond of vocal commentary in general (with a few exceptions), I'm not cut out for it since I'd trip over my own words 20 or more times in the attempt and the thought of it makes me nervous.
So does this mean the hiatus is over? Well...unfortunately, no. Quite the opposite, actually. The CC is being really, really quiet - the blogs are inactive apart from Geek2Nurse's, and most of the activity at CCaves is due to either newbies, the C4 forum, or both. I've almost no motivation to work on anything for Creatures right now (although I did try to create a better swimming agent while waiting for a chance to hook this thing up to the internet - I didn't get very far, unfortunately).
However, that's not the only reason I'm still on hiatus at the moment - the other major reason is that, since this computer can handle much more than my old one could, I'm playing other games that take advantage of the new processor and graphics card - especially StarCraft II. Brood War was one of my favorite games, and now that I can run the sequel without any issues, I've been playing it practically nonstop. So yeah, the "other games are more interesting than Creatures" reason is still very much in effect.
The final reason for the hiatus: the C4 hype is really starting to annoy me. I couldn't care less about Creatures 4, and that mindset isn't changing because its release is imminent. There are other games that I'm much more excited about (Pokemon Black and White 2, for example).
Between those 3 things, I can say that this hiatus is going to last for a while (at least for another month). I'm not certain when I'll get around to all the things I was working on, but know that I haven't abandoned them completely. I'll get back to them at some point.