Create events and todos from Mail.app messages with Event Maker
Event Maker allows you to create iCal events and todos from Mail.app messages, or simply from scratch. It looks like it has a more navigable UI, especially for keyboard junkies like myself, and a side drawer allows for adding alarms.
Event Maker is available right now from Mac Update, where the author has posted a request for server space to enable an automatic update feature. Also, the app's author, Mike Abdullah, has requested help with drawing some toolbar icons, so head over to Hawk Wings for the details and contact info if you can lend an illustrative hand.