I recently revisited one of the enhancements to Grading in Civil 3D 2005. It is the ability to force a slope direction for instances where the first solution would be opposite of my desired cut or fill slope.
What this means is that traditionally if a grading object was in a depression or valley but still above a surface it could only grade "DOWN" to the surface because it is above the surface. Now I can force it to grade "UP" and catch the sides of the depression or valley. This ability, is of course, a very welcome addition.