I watched Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, and was really moved by the scores and songs in the fim. The trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are definitely my current favourite 'band' of composers. Their first real hit was the classy Dil Chahta Hai (Farhan Akthar). The songs were melodious and suited the film well (loved the didjeridu intro for the song set in Australia). 'Koi Kehe' is still a fav (danced to a minute of this song in my varsity days).
The trio has created musical magic ever since - each movie that they've composed for have had their tunes following the flow of the movie, like the aussie instrument in DCH, or the heart-beats for Kal Ho Na Ho. Another favourite is the (brave) attempt at macabre music in Kyun... Ho Gaya Naa. Their music has made my movie experience a whole lot better.
Another 'Hindi' composer I admire is AR Rehman. Though most of his Hindi work is a rehash of hits in Tamil, they seem to have that special variety that keeps listeners hooked. I'll post some thoughts on the Tamil music industry at a later stage.
A composer I've tried to follow after listening to a few hits is Sandeep Chowta. He worked on a few films by Ram Gopal Varma like Mast, Company (maybe more, I stand to be corrected). Its the background score that is real quality - quite necessary for some of the suspense-filled stuff from the South Indian director. I also enjoyed his work in Bollywood Hollywood.
Another up and coming composer is Pritham (Dhoom, Kaal, Garam Masala). Some really catchy numbers.
My big negative in the composing arena in Bollywood is Anu Malik aka Mr Xerox. Maybe he was creative in his young days, but now (at least since I've started listening to his music) he seems to have lost it all, and relies on popular work from other composers (especially English songs) to make his hits. He has thrown a few surprises during the course of his work like the theme from Ashoka, and songs from Refugee, but in general, his composition really shows a lack of creativity. Maybe its just me.
I'm sure I've missed many, but on a whole, the Hindi music industry has displayed a lot of innovation and creativity lately. I'm really optimistic of the kind of work that will be produced in the future.
Btw - have you listened carefully to the string-filled background music while viewing Desperate Housewives? Just love the stocatto and pizzicato notes...
An interesting link on how to play the didgeridu - http://www.aboriginalart.com.au/didgeridoo/dig_background.html