- fantasy novel (magic, unicorns, blahbitty) (shut up it makes me mentally comfy)
- southern humor (think Roy Blount or John Kennedy Toole)
- characters with humility
- yet characters that are still heroes
- and are heroes without being impossibly beautiful
- wacky nonstandard gender role stuff
- an overall positive outlook about the world, or the pretend world the book is set in
- regular people gettin' by
I have fallen away from fantasy novels in recent years with the exception of humor stuff like Pratchett. But Mo recommended Little, Big to me a few years ago and when I finally got around to reading it I found it was the perfect book for me, apart from the One True Book for me, which is as you all know Handling Sin.
There was some fantasy writer that seemed to fit all these conditions whose writing annoyed the piss out of me - I'll try to remember who it was.  Aha! It was Charles de Lint. I tried to read Dreams Underfoot and found it a little too twee and perhaps obvious. If something seems obvious to me, the most oblivious reader short of a mid-sized pond pebble, that's bad. I think it also seemed a little dated, something other "drawing the fantastic into a contemporary realistic world" books somehow manage to skip around. I suppose you can add "timelessness" to that list above as an option.
I might or might not have time before I leave to hit a Border's so all this may be moot, but I'd still be interested in any recommendations anyone has.