I stumbled upon this and after a first try it seems rather neat.
It's Microsoft Image Composite Editor brought to you by Microsoft Research.
It's photo stitching software that seems to do a very nice job reducing the need for wide angle lenses considerably. You can't beat it at this price since it's free.
Which is nice.
I gave it a first try using two shots I made a few days ago of the foundation of a new house that's being built nearby. It was too wide for a single shot so I took two pictures not really intended for stitching so they had quite a vertical offset. I just opened them both in this software, it crunched on them for a while and then produced a perfectly stitched panorama. I really could not find any signs of stitching in the resulting image. I was quite impressed by its result. Mind you... after only one try I can't know whether it'll do every job as well.
Since the latest version is over a year old you may know of it already but a search here on the forum didn't turn anything up about it so I thought I'd just mention it.
A little holiday present.
You can read about it and download it here
There's also a 'HD View' there that seems interesting.
Make sure to post your results. Maybe we should have a "D e f i n i t i v e P a n o r a m a T h r e a d".
When in doubt..... Press the shutter.