Just a little reminder for myself: In 93 of 95 cases i want to exclude all of the .svn subdirectories lying around in my working copy.
Andreas brought that one to my mind again with a nasty forest of grep pipes. ;-)

grep -R --exclude \*.svn\* your_pattern

gives me only the output I really need.

Update (2:42pm):

Gosh. After @denderello got nudged about my last blog post I gave http://betterthangrep.com/ a try.
It came via macports and I'm already loving it's colorful output and the per-file groups. Neato.