Just thought I would announce that I am releasing a new module for your scrutinizing. Basically, it allows you to create custom navigation menus (such as "Header", "Footer" etc) and then link to these menu's from your template using <% control CustomMenu(menuslug) %>.
Its still pretty basic, but lets you build a menu from a TreeMultiselectField, give that menu a slug and return a DataObjectSet of pages to your template when called.
In the future I plan to add Versioning support, but any suggestions welcome :).
Download link: http://www.assembla.com/spaces/silverstripe-modules/documents/dQoxrEiiar37wFeJe5afGb
Browse Source: http://www.assembla.com/code/silverstripe-modules/subversion/nodes/custommenus
SVN Trunk: http://subversion.assembla.com/svn/ssmodules/custommenus/trunk
I look forward to any feedback.
Edit Just noticed the svn link above isn't correct, have changed it now. Also, added direct link to SVN trunk.
Edit Changed SVN link to proper link :).