Back in 2009 I did a lot of web development and that usually results in changing around the Windows host file all the time. Back then I used Windows Vista for windows development and wrote a quick sidebar gadget that can view, edit and temporarily comment out entries in your host file. It runs on Windows 7 as well if you unzip it and put the KCHostEditor.gadget folder into: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets
Then you can just right click on the desktop an select "Gadgets" and add it. Just tried it out before running of so I'm not sure if it works for editing, I remember that I had to be admin on the machine. The machine I'm on now just gives me standard user, for now.... But try it out if you like and if you want to do your own gadget refer to this guide: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb456468(v=vs.85).aspx
I have, as many others, tons of stuff on my desktop. The windows box in question is a Vista machine and I really like the fixes MS has done to the user experience since XP. But I always had trouble with all my desktop icons and my fetish to save to the desktop when it's only a temporary file, that always stays there for weeks or months when it's not so temp anymore. The biggest issue is that it's a laptop running at 1440x900px docked but not so high resolution undocked. When I have placed all my tools and stuff neatly along the sides of the screen and undock my laptop all the icons go together in a big pile in the top left corner. So when I dock again I have to tidy up all the time. Now I don't have that problem anymore! Fences really cleans up the desktop and take care of all the problems. It's good, it's easy and free!
Check it out: http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/