jgarzik has also written pushpoold which I am using for internal use. It needs work to get going but it's a nice solution and is written in C. It supports long polling and binary protocol if/when that takes off.
FWIW, pushpoold is part of my weekend project -- xf2.org -- which will be offering private bitcoind node hosting, and private pool server hosting.
All this will be available via an automated system "soon", but the basic backbone and infrastructure is up and running. If anyone has an immediate need for bitcoind or pool server hosting, PM me. I can setup something up manually, until our automated system is complete.
Tentative prices (per month):
5 BTC - Pool server, max 50 workers
5 BTC - Private bitcoin P2P node (aka private wallet), max 1000 RPC requests per day
8 BTC - Private bitcoin P2P node + pool server, all you need to service a small, friends-only bitcoin mining pool
Private nodes are connected exclusively to xf2.org's P2P backbone, providing an insulating layer away from the public net.
Our server farm, with servers in the US and EU -- real servers, not VPS's -- can also accomodate public pool servers and public bitcoin P2P nodes, but those prices are much higher, due to increased resource usage and increased risk of DDoS. PM me, if you want a quote. Paypal-USD is accepted too, with the proviso that you must pre-pay a year in advance.