Here is a photo of a mature plant putting up new increases. this is what a good plant looks like in my garden at this time of year.
Plant has reached maturity, and has had bloom set triggered. When bloom set has been achieved, the supression of growth of increases is removed, and new increases proceed to grow. So increases can put on some size before winter.
This plant will bloom next spring, and have increaes to carry on.
At this time of year here (Southern Ontario, Canada) I will no longer have the temeratures at night to enable bloom set, so any plants not doing this at this time (having inceases actively growing) will not fare well next year.
Those that are not starting new increases at this time will likely have bud set initiated by winter vernalization. These plants will bloom in spring, but not have increases to carry on, and are in danger of bloom out. Some of these will still put up increases, but these increase will start well after plant flowers and likely not reach maturity in time for bud set for 2012, so another cycle of just hanging in, untill something eliminates them completly.
So any one in a colder climate, you can predict how new plants will do in your garden based on how plants look, in regard to increases, as long as plant has spent summer in your garden.