Now, Lee Smolin, the guru of Loop Quantum Gravity (a geometrically oriented quantum gravity formulation in which time-space itself comes in discrete chunks, which is one of the main competitors of String Theory), has suggested in a scientific paper that his theory, combined with a preon theory along the lines of one recently suggested by Sundance Bilson-Thompson, could recreate the Standard Model. As it is described in the abstract:
We show that a class of background independent models of quantum spacetime have local excitations that can be mapped to the first generation fermions of the standard model of particle physics.
Smolin discusses the general predictions and conclusions of Loop Quantum Gravity and theories like it in a paper released this May:
Some generic consequences are well known, including the discreteness of quantum geometry, the elimination of spacetime singularities, the entropy of black hole and cosmological horizons and the fact that positive cosmological constant spacetimes are hot. Within the last few years three possible generic consequences have come to light. These are 1) Deformed special relativity as the symmetry of the ground state, 2) Elementary particles as coherent excitations of quantum geometry, 3) Locality is disordered.
The August 12, 2006 edition of New Scientist magazine discusses the developments from an educated layman's perspective. (My source is the Physics Forums, rather than the subscription controlled New Scientist.)