Super3boy has been busy and has developed a batch render program (currently in beta) for Windows, Fast F12, which you can get more details and download from here http://nystic.com/blog/2009/06/07/fast-f12-beta-1-released/
FastF12 can render whole animations or individual frames and you can set it up to do the renders you need in batch so you can set it running, leave it, and when you return all the animations and or specific frames will be rendered without having to keep going through blender
Now this is a really neat idea. Polybore has been using a linux system on the polybore LAN to render blender animations because it was taking up to much time and system resources on the main windows PC.
Because polybore accesses this headless linux blender render box by xdmc (Xming) over LAN from a windows machine then having this simple GUI, rather than booting up the whole blender program, would make the operation a lot less fiddly. Alas though, Fast F12 is windows only just now, so polybore needs to think about having a windows based headless blender render box on the LAN. As it happens polybore has the parts to build one…
Super3boy mentioned a possible very interesting future development for Fast F12. From his remarks at the end of the video it seems he plans to develop Fast F12 as a a web application for users to create a distributed computing blender render engine. Similar to that used by the SET@home project. In theory you could have hundreds of computers available over the internet to spare some processing time to render your animations thus cutting your render times exponentially. Now that would be excellent.