An article on MacRumors today tells us that Apple has re-enabled the syncing of Contacts and Calendars in a beta version of iTunes 11.1.6. Whether this feature is back because of the iTunes beta or the latest developer seed of Mavericks 10.9.3 is unknown but it has a lot of people very excited, including myself.
Since the USB sync of Contacts and Calendars was lost when Mavericks was installed I decided to set up my own server instead. This has been a great learning experience but given the choice I would prefer to sync with a USB cable. It looks like soon this will be a possibility again. I found an application currently in beta a short while ago called SyncMate 5 and shared this with others who did not like the idea of being forced to use iCloud as an alternative. Overall the response was good and quite a few were happy with it including myself. However nothing is better than the built-in functionality to sync over USB, so if Apple is really giving us the local sync feature back applications like SyncMate and server solutions will probably be dropped by those that only adopted it as a replacement for local sync.
I will keep running my server to test/experiment and maybe even replace USB sync at some point but it will be whenever I am ready, not when Apple decides I am ready 🙂