The UI buffs out there should take a look at this, if they haven't already. Zooming User Interfaces is a concept that is analogus to reading a newspaper. When you see something interesting you bring the paper closer (zoom in) to remove the distractions on the rest of the page. When you're done, you zoom out. Or something like that. The home page has a great introduction to the concept.
Kudos to http://www.stressbunny.com/brainjuice/ for the link. For the aformentioned UI buffs, check out his desktop gestures program for linux (and soon win32) which allows you to use opera/netscape like mouse gestures for your day to day desktop navigation.