After reading this excellent tutorial on smart sharpening, I created a couple of actions to do sharpening and noise reduction automatically and smartly. It's truly amazing (the concept, not my actions). I had wanted to buy Fred Miranda's actions, but I'm chugging along on Photoshop 4.0, and his actions worked only for PS 6.0 and above. Now I've made them myself for free!
Basically, you use "Find Edges" to create a mask of the edges in the picture. For EdgeSharpen, you sharpen only the edges, whereas for NoiseReduction you use the median filter only on the flat areas, while avoiding the edges.
The actions are optimized for web-sized images ie 600 x 400 pixels. So resize your pictures before applying the actions. The values used are fairly conservative, so you can repeat the action two or three times to taste. You can also vary the strength of the action if you want.
Do try them and let me know if they work in PS 6.0 and above.
EdgeSharpen and NoiseReduction
BTW the most recent set of street photos (beach and mimefest) were prepared using these actions. And you thought I actually bought an L lens....