Iconaton is a free, open-source, cross-platform solution for creating Windows Icon files. It can also be used for extracting images from and otherwise editing existing icon files. Iconaton can operate either with a GUI or from the command line.
Automates a lot of manual work and does it very well.
Easy, lightweight image -> .ico conversion. Generates smaller sizes for you. Clean, simple, gets the job done. We need more cops like you, Iconaton.
Icon creation from images made simple. The only caveat is that there is no Drag & Drop Support.