[H]ow do you see the future of fillibuster reform. Is the 60-vote senate going to be the norm from now on (even when the Democrats are in the minority?)I do think that we're stuck with a 60 vote Senate, regardless of which party has the majority. And I don't think it's stable -- but with a major caveat.
The thing is that the incentive to change things in the Senate varies with the partisan context. The 60 vote standard matters (and is most likely to lead to change) when there's unified party government and, oh, 55-59 majority party Senators. And it's even more likely when that situation persists.
Just to run through it quickly...when there's divided government, then a supermajority is going to be needed for legislation in the Senate regardless of the filibuster rules. That already covers the vast majority of Congresses over the last 45 years!
On top of that, the filibuster and other procedures that protect minorities in the Senate are there because they enhance the influence of individual Senators, who are therefore reluctant to change things. What that means is that under unified government when there's enough of a majority to get things done (so when the majority party has, say, 59-62 Senators, depending on how the most moderate Senators from both parties act), it's unlikely that there will be much momentum for reform because reform won't be a high priority. On the other hand, when the majority is very small (50, 51, 52 Senators) then reform is also unlikely because reformers probably won't have the votes.
On top of all that, as much as it seems that the parties simply switch positions when the majority changes -- which is generally true -- you're apt to find more enthusiasm for reform from those who haven't spent the last few years insisting that reform will bring down the republic. So it's not all that likely that a new majority will do reform.
Put it all together, and a very good Democratic year in 2012 (retain the presidency and pick up a couple of Senate seats, maybe even without taking the House) probably would yield some sort of Senate reform. A GOP landslide? My guess -- and it's just a guess -- is that Republicans would be more aggressive about threatening reform than Democrats were in 2009-2010, but wouldn't actually pull the trigger until after keeping that majority in 2014.