I thought it might be worth digging up some details on the Taleban that Afghanistan's government is swapping for the life of the Italian reporter. The main Taliban leader released is this guy...
Mullah Abdul Latif Hakimi
In 1999, Hakimi reportedly led the law enforcement system in the province of Herat. After the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, he took over duties as the Taliban's head spokesman. A statement by Afghani president Harmid Karzai once described Hakimi as "responsible for so many attrocities in Afghanistan", and his government hailed his initial capture as important, in that it could lead to a wealth of information due to his close links with the leaders of the Taliban movement.
Hakimi was remarkably well-connected while managing the Taliban's communications, and was frequently in touch with reporters and Taliban leaders, through mobile phone or fax. It's also suggested in the reports I've read that Hakimi's overreliance on traditional forms of electronic communication such as mobile phones, faxes, and email may have led to his arrest.
(Next time use couriers, I guess.)
*UPDATE* - It is being reported that Mastrogiacomo was released for five senior Taliban. Two were head of the Taliban "cultural wing", Ustad Yasar and ex-spokesman Latifullah Hakimi, both arrested in 2005. The others were Mansoor Ahmad, a brother of Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban's top military commander, and two commanders named Hamdullah and Abdul Ghaffar.
Mastrogiacomo has been released, has reported back to his newspaper in Italy, and will soon be coming home. He reportedly witnessed the execution of one of his Afghani assistants. The other Afghani, however, is still in the hands of the Taliban.