Likely to be marked as v2.3, Gingerbread is said to focus more on aesthetics as opposed to additional features. Other details include WebM support, better copy and paste functionality, and improved social-networking features.
Reading the tea leaves, it certainly appears that an SDK announcement is around the corner. A giant gingerbread man statue was dropped off at Google headquarters two weeks ago, where he now stands next to previous delicious builds of Android, including Froyo (2.1) and Eclair (2.0).
Typically, Google announces an SDK or a phone within a few weeks of new lawn ornaments. Samsung was recently tied towhere it will reportedly debut the 2.3 build. A few Android blogs have also spotted Android 2.3 and 3.0 (Honeycomb?) in their recent traffic analytics reports, leading many to believe testing is being actively conducted.
The latest release of Google Maps might be our first glimpse into how applications and menus will look. A clever Freenode IRC member, canadiancow, noticed that the app came with a folder hiding new graphics and interface tweaks. Look for a crisper, sharpened appearance to the overall user experience with a hint of green.
Verizon has a couple of, but I don't expect to see Gingerbread loaded on them just yet. If recent history is any indication, it will be at least a few weeks or more between the SDK release and the first phone or OTA update.