theo forgive me for playing devil's advocate, I do so to learn more and that's not to say I do not trust you, I do, but I'd like to know what makes you believe that we are seeing a rise in Theism?
Let me raise a few questions. Is it practical to say that atheism has exhausted itself? What I mean by this is every single atheistic argument has one way or another been refuted in history. The great atheist philosophers have come and gone, now it has been belittled to attacking religion from an apologetic perspective instead of getting to the heart of the matter. It's funny because we'll see secular stuff, like The God Who Wasn't There "documentary", and the arguments they raise are nothing new and have been debunked hundreds of years ago.
The conversion of Antony Flew from atheism to theism/Deism last decade signaled a growing trend in academic philosophy; theism was (is) not only becoming more and more palatable as an explanation, but was becoming more and more convincing.
I wish I could remember the citation, but there was an article in a peer reviewed journal written by an atheistic philosopher who lamented the fact that in recent years, more than half of his students in each class have been theists of some sort (with nearly a quarter being Christians). Michael Ruse has, in closed circles, admitted that atheism is becoming less and less tenable as an intellectual position in the academy, and his debates against theists shows that he treats theism as a legitimate belief.
Many of the left over elements of atheism are, as you appropriately point out, simply attacks against religion without proffering any evidence for atheism. Rather, the 'New Atheists' are big on bravado, but short on substance. They attack the God of the Bible as being egotistical and genocidal, but when asked to give us an objective standard for why such actions should be universally rejected, they look at you like you're crazy and say only a madman would need such standards. In other words, they dodge the question. They attempt to live under a Judeo-Christian meta-ethic (where ethics are absolute), but then fail to provide any reason how naturalism could account for objective standards or absolute ethics. What's worse is they reject any theistic claim outright, no matter how solid it is, either due to some bias against God or because they're logical positivists (having apparently missed the memo that logical positivism died in the 1970's due to its self-refuting nature).
The problem I also have with atheists is that in order to debate what you are saying they will constantly change their position; their own beliefs of what they hold are on the shifting sands and not grounded by anything but their own thought processes. And then they'll try their best to point out logical fallacies and hide behind this notion that they don't make the claim that God doesn't exist. Atheism by definition is the rejection of the belief about God. That is a positive claim about the belief in God, you reject it therefore you must demonstrably prove why this rejection is a valid viewpoint. They say the burden of proof is on the theist, quite the contrary because I can say God exists but is hidden in mystery. If we could explain God in our logical minds, that wouldn't be a god. Why would God by His essence intervene in our lives and show us His presence? Why would a perfect being create beings in the image and likeness of Himself reveal Himself on a constant basis because that would contradict the very meaning of us being in the image and likeness of God, we instead become the image and likeness of a robot where the only choice that we have is to submit to God. That is not a perfect being because why would a perfect being have a creation that merely is subject to His own whims without the choice to do so. As mina's sig also says vain existence cannot exist.
The whole idea of a "burden of proof" is a little absurd to me, because it allows one side to be lazy and skeptical while the other side does all the work. In my opinion, when you have two competing metaphysical claims (or simply two claims) where one or the other necessarily has to be true, the burden of proof falls on both sides. In a specific debate, the burden of proof rests upon who is the "attacker" and who is the "defender." If I say that atheism is untenable, then I now have the burden of proof. If I say that theism is tenable, I merely need to prove that theism is logically coherent and therefore could be true. If someone says that theism is false and there is no God, the burden of proof is on him. Before they say, "So if I say there isn't an invisible gnome in your backyard, the proof is on me to prove as such?" My answer would be, "yes."
My guess is that the New Atheism is an act of desperation, despite all its triumphalism.