David Berlinski and Juan Uriagereka have written a very readable (and amusing) history of abstract case theory (here). It is also very pedagogical for it focuses on how Vergnaud's proposal regarding abstract case enhanced the explanatory power of UG, and it does this by showing how Chomsky-Lasnik filters were a vast improvement over ordered rules with all of their intricacies and how case theory was a big conceptual improvement over filters like *[NP to VP]. It is all very nicely done (and quite funny in a very dry sort of way.
The story ends with the observation that ECM is, well "exceptional" and suggests, coyly, that this raises interesting issues. It does. One of the nicest results of recent minimalist theory, IMO, was Lasnik and Saito's (L&S) regularization of Postal's scope facts wrt ECM subjects in the context of a theory of case that junks government and replaces it with something like the old spec-head configuration. What L&S show is that given such a theory, one that the earliest versions of MP promoted, we would expect a correlation between (abstract) case value and the scope of the case assigned DP. Postal's data, L&S argued showed exactly that. This was a wonderful paper and one of the first really interesting results of minimalist logic.
As you all know, this result fit ill with the mover to Agree based Probe-Goal conceptions of case licensing (after all, the whole idea of the L&S theory is that the DP had to move to a higher position in order to get case licensed and this movement expanded its scope horizons). Chomsky's more recent ideas concerning labeling might force object movement as well and so reclaim the Postal, though not within the domain of the theory of case. At any rate, all of this is to indicate that there are further interesting theoretical movements prompted by Vergnaud's original theory even to the present day. And yes, I know that there are some who think that it was entirely on the wrong track but even they should appreciate the Berlinksy-Uriagereka reconstruction.