For one project at work, I stepped up my design gear to produce a pretty fancy preloader system. The whole idea used actionscript to load XML files and images, and I guess I went way over the top creating fancy images to go along with it.
One of the images I really loved was this one. Two circles with four paddles surrounding them. As the movie loaded, these paddles moved closer to their final position. The whole thing had a very smooth appeal to it.
In this final 100% image, the outside set of paddles has faded and shrunk out of view.
I even inbuilt a delay so that the animation would get chance to play, rather then being skipped over on faster PCs, or preloaded systems. I think people appreciate a little glimpse into the effort put into some of these programs. This preloaded is a great way to show underlying technology for displaying something that on the surface looks really simple.