Backbone.js and it's ilk ...
However, after spending a half a day with backbone.js … I was sold. The awkwardness of linking jQuery directory to DOM elements is gone. The nested jQuery handlers are much more structured in the hands of backbone.js. The eventing system that it provides is top notch and the seamless integration with RESTful back-ends (such as Rails) is excellent.
I recently listened to a podcast on Backbone.js and came to the realization that there are a ton of these libraries popping up around the web (knockout.js, spine.js). Of course, each of these libraries has their own personal take on things, but if you haven’t taken a look at one of these frameworks under the assumption that “jQuery works just fine for my needs.”
I would highly recommend checking one of these libraries out.