one of the best parts is the look on people's faces when you make something pop up from nowhere. one of my recent endeavors was to set up to script to parse a very complex log from an hp lab instrument. i connect to it via a samba share, parse it, and insert the results into a postgresql database on a small database server. i set up a series of cgi scripts so they could query the database on various parameters as the users' way to getting to the results. not a big deal, once you put together the pieces, but it's real neat to go from a situation in which they go from being virtually unable to get to results from past runs to one in which they can do it without ever seeing the data going in.
who said this stuff wasn't magic.