I just started up again last year after almost 15 years off. To me the improvements I noticed were in yeasts and sanitizers.
For yeasts both the liquid and dry are much improved. I used to remember a smack pack of yeast taking a couple of days to kick off and now they seem much more active. The dry yeasts are great too, cheap insurance to have a couple of packets around in case the liquid ones don’t kick off like they should.
There are more sanitizer options now. I remember using BTF (still good stuff) but the backup sanitizer was common bleach. Now Star-San is the king. And like someone already mentioned, OxyClean is a secret weapon. I just cleaned 6 cases of crusty bottles with one 5-gallon bucket of OxyClean. Put a case of bottles in the bucket, leave them for a few hours, ALL the labels came off and a lot of the crud inside came out without too much work. That same bucket of oxyclean held up for all the bottles.
Surprised nobody put in a vote for the Better Bottles. Just got one, looks like it works great, the trick is to put them in a milk crate to keep them from sucking the airlock water back in when you pick them up to move them.