Yes, there are a few really good keyboards on the android market that are better than the stock Android keyboard.
The ones I use the most on the Nook is FlexT9 and SwiftKey X(get the tablet version)
The FlexT9 has both gestures and swiping input methods. Personally I think the swiping text input is better on FlexT9 than than on Swype--and that says a lot. I don't use the gestures at all. I've found using the swyping is just much faster than the gestures.
SwiftKey X is a predictive text style of keyboard. It monitors what you type and starts prediction based on words you use. It not only auto fills the words your typing but also suggests the next word you will most likely type. You can also accelerate it's prediction by giving it access to your SMS, email, Facebook and Twitter account.(I didn't but many folks do).
Many folks also swear by SwiftKey and claim it's the best keyboard. I find I like FlexT9 much more because the swiping features is much faster than typing with two thumbs. However I do find myself often switching between the two keyboards.