Here's an Arduino connected to a 4x20 HD44780 display, enclosed in 8"x4 1/2" Lexan.
I used a modified version of the LCD arduino library and hacked the LCD Smartie Sketch using Orbital Matrix commands.
LCD Smartie is running the BigNum plugins. It shows Facebook news feeds, BBC Headlines, a Clock, local Weather and my Folding at home status (team 144824) among other things.
This was a fun project, not too much soldering and had a high reward vs time invested. For more see my site FrancisShanahan.com