Extracting trees from various idiosyncratically formatted databases is a pain, as is the task of printing very large trees for visual inspection of showing off. Many software packages are competent or good at one or both sets of tasks--I use some combination of APE package for R and FigTree, which work well for most of my needs, but not all. There are two new tools that help partly solve a couple of vaguely related problems.
Archaeopteryx, written by Christian Zmasek, is a Java-based application potentially useful in broad comparative analyses for extraction of trees from various source formats. With open source Java and Ruby libraries, it reads and displays trees in common formats (e.g. newick and nexus) as well as NCBI Taxonomy, TOL, and PhyloXML. For a nice example, take a look at the amphibian tree, then go to 'View as Text' and copy the newick formatted tree. Why? If you were to wish to print this or another large tree, you'd be out a nice chunk of time, and experience moderate hassle. No longer.
Tred, Rick Ree's web-based tree printing tool, can import, manipulate, and print very large trees. The most exciting feature for me is the duplication of sections near the margins for easy pasting of multi-page trees! The amphibian tree can be easily printed over three pages, taped together at convenient overlaps, and posted above your desk.
I can barely contain the urge to outdo the Hillis and Bull Lab tree, pictured above, by using the above tools to print out and unfurl a gigantic tree of life from Sears Tower. (Nevermind the uncertainty or accuracy.) A cheap way into the Guinness Book of World Records?
[Thanks to MudPuppy for pointing out Archaeopteryx!]