Thanks for all your responses!
It looks like I have some experimenting to do, but this has been very educational. I wasn't aware there were so many ways and methods for distributed and cluster computing. As I learn I am sure this community will have some good suggestions and stories. I hope others out there have found some new facilities through this post.
My orgins of distributed computing was through Microsoft's DCOM (cough cough) but that was a hassle corrected through this newer dot net remoting and web services technology but still gets clumsy. I still think CGI is a great technology which I still use, but these XML webservices and ASP-like web interface technologies keep developing while it isn't clear what problem they are solving. I have heard about Sun's Grid computing which nobody mentioned, has anyone heard or had experience with this? If I remember correctly it wasn't free but quite expensive.
Thanks for all your time,