If you have not tried Photomerge in Photoshop CS4, what are you waiting for? It is much improved over earlier versions.
This top image illustrates the magic of Photomerge. When I took the series of pictures for my pano, I thought: This pano is going to look kinda strange. No way can Photomerge line up all the boards on the dock. Their angles are just way too different.
Well, to my surprise, Photomerge did a good job.
Is that pano perfect? No. You can see some imperfections in the stitching process on the dock. (I could have cloned them out.) Is it fun? Yes!
The bottom image is one of my favorite panos (HDR+ pano). The stitching process was much more successful because the foreground was further from the camera.
So that's today pano tip: try not to include a very (I added very after a comment posted here) close foreground element when shooting a pano – especially if the foreground element has strong lines.
Explore the light,