Yes, I forgot to announce 2.6 here, sorry about that.
2.6.1 is just some minor bug fixes. The release is motivated primarily by the fact that I have implemented raid6 reshape (i.e. add one or more devices to a raid6 while online). For the moment you need to collect patches from the linux-raid mailing list or wait for the next -mm release. They will hopefully be in 2.6.21-rc2. Earlier versions of mdadm can start a raid6 reshape with a new kernel, but there is one small case where it didn't quite do the right thing so I wanted to get that fix out.
2.6 introduced --incremental mode. This is intended for interfacing with 'udev'. When a new device is discoverred it is passed to "mdadm --incremental" and mdadm tries to include it in an md array if that is appropriate. As soon as all devices become available, the array is ready. Of course if one device is missing, we have a problem. Do we start the array degraded as soon as possible, or wait for the missing device to appear, possible waiting forever... No go answers to this question yet. mdadm allows you to try either.