Space.com is carrying this very informative interview with research scientist David Grinspoon, who has just published a new book called "Venus Revealed". They go over a lot of things, like Magellan evidence that Venus completely resurfaced itself about 600 million years ago, whether or not there was ever liquid water on the surface, just exactly how severe the greenhouse effect was, and whether or not life could ever have existed there. Very interesting stuff!
Trivia note: When reading about the Soviet Venera program, I was startled to discover that you don't actually need a parachute to land something on Venus. The atmosphere is so thick, apparently all that's required is a flat piece of metal, sort of like a giant dinner plate.