Good question. Yes, there was robust global warming from the late 1970s up through 1998. Essentially, it was a rerun of the unstoppable (sarc) global warming of the 1930s.
Overall, there's been no statistically significant global warming since 1998, going by the satellite data from AQUA. However there's been extensive data withholding and data fraud with respect to temperatures from surface stations.
Example. Phil Jones, of Climategate fame, told a colleague in an email that he would rather destroy the original data than hand it over to skeptics, who were pursuing FOIA requests. Lo and behold! That's exactly what he did. 150 years of original data, with which he was entrusted, is gone forever.
The only thing that remains is 'adjusted data'. If the raw data does not support the Warmies' foregone conclusion of man-made climate catastrophe, then they look for some flimsy pretext to 'adjust' it. The diddled 'data' is all that remains in the collection at CRU (Climate Research Unit) at East Anglia University. I'm sorry, but that's not the way real science is done.
And there's more fraud, much more. Don't get me started.
Anyway... On average, the land masses have been cooling for the last couple of years. Interestingly, 2010 was a warmer-than-average year for our fair planet, because of slightly increasing SSTs (sea surface temperatures). (The oceans cover roughly 70% of the planet's surface.) As a counterpoint, there's been no discernible trend in overall ocean temperatures since 2003, as measured by the Argo Buoys.
Ken, your suspicion is reasonable. CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) is a thoroughly falsified hypothesis. However the recent cooling of the land masses has not been going on long enough to say with reasonable confidence that we're entering a long-term cooling trend.