Illustrator still only has linear and radial gradients.
CS4 added a Gradient Annotator to allow you to alter the gradient directly on the artwork rather than requiring the use of Panels. But beyond the ease of editing the standard gradients, there are no new gradients.
There is however finally the ability to use transparency in the gradient.
You also have the gradient tool which allows you to click and drag to "place" your gradient.
Thanks, I had forgotten about the gradient tool; however, it's really hit-or-miss; I love the ability to click on the various toolbars in Fw and position the gradients in a deliberate way... I guess it's a more web graphics oriented tool...