Just wandering around my favorite blogs, when I came across an article describing this new tool at codeplex called TweakSP. I gave it a spin om my demo environment. Although the project is still in a start phase, the idea seams promising. You can download a wsp file that, when deployed, will add an extra tab to your Central Admin site.
Hopefully, they will add a lot more functionality as the project progresses.
It is definitely worth keeping an eye on this project. I know I will [H]