Microsoft is working on and has announced a new certification program called the Microsoft Certified Master (MCM). This is not a replacement for the Architect program and it is not an enhancement to the existing programs like MCITP.
From Trika's blog, you can see that this certification is not for the light hearted. It costs 18,000 for 3 weeks of training and 3 exams and a lab exam. It is hard for many people to be able to go to this training in Redmond for 3 weeks straight. But this is the only the first time it is offered. I would love to be able to do this, but 3 weeks is a LONG time to be away from work and family.
I was really looking forward to this certification, but it might be more than I am willing to do right now. Well, on to the next set of certifications that I am studying for, MCPD and a few MCTSs.