The folks over at donationcoder.com regularly run contests to encourage their programmers to come up with new freebies.
Here are the 35 top programs from their latest contest: the 2009 NANY Challenge (New Apps For The New Year)
Some of the programs in the list are trivial while others are specialized but useful to those who have a particular need. Still it's well worth checking the list out as you may find something you have long been looking for. My favorite was DropCommand, a program that enables drag and drop of files to a command window in Vista.
More interesting to most users is the site's outstanding list of general purpose freeware programs available from here:
The Donation Coder site uses use a novel licensing system: you have to register to get a free license key which allows you to download any number of programs on the site. This key lasts six months after which you must return to the site to download another free license key. After a year you are given a permanent license. Alternatively, you can make a once-up donation of any size and get a permanent key straight away.
It's a clever and ethical way to encourage users to recognize the work done by freeware authors and I support it fully.