These are very useful- from moving around roasting veggies to getting things out of the toaster oven (I use bamboo ones for that- no electricution here!), tongs are something I use all the time. I first bought some after watching a portion of a Jamie Oliver show, wherein he'd barbecued some vegetables in a small aluminium pan, and then tossed them around- I thought, "Why don't I have some of those?" I bought a pair on the way home.
Next up is a microplane. When I first got one of these, I actually got a different type, specifically for zesting lemons. My best friend got one like this, and we decided to test them out to see which is best.
I've decided that this kind is best; my other one is now used solely for grating nutmeg (just a smaller surface area, and didn't stay quite as sharp.) This one can be used for zesting citrus, shaving hard cheeses or chocolate, (or nutmeg)- and it makes lovely little light piles of things with lots of air in them. If you're on a diet, you can feel like you're getting tons of cheese on something, when it's really just a taste. I keep it inside the cover in between uses, just to keep it protected and free of dust.
Everyone always says, "A good kitchen knife" when making these kinds of lists... so: A good kitchen knife. I have 2, just in case. I wash them by hand after using them, and sharpen them once a month or two. Both of these have really lasted me quite a long time- 4 years at least right now. One is a Santoku knife (the pink one) and the other is just a large chef's knife. You want to find one that has some weight in the handle, but not so heavy that it wears out your hand when you're using it. I got each of these knives for about $20-$25, and I think the quality is really good. Some people go crazy and spend huge piles of money on knives, but I think unless you are the Iron Chef, maybe don't worry so much about it. I used to cut things with steak knives for years.... and really- don't do that. It sucks!
A colander! Where would I be without you? Eating soggy food, that's where. This thing almost doesn't make it back up to it's hook, I use it so often. Pasta, veggies, rinsing spinach... what can't it do?
And lastly, a good set of measuring cups. This kind is especially good if you do a lot of baking, because apparently, using one of those old trusty Pyrex guys can be off a slight bit when measuring flour. I really use both types all the time, and you really can't cook from recipes very well without them! (trust me, I've had to do it before, and the results were NOT PRETTY!)