Digitope Pixelshop is excellent for icon and cursor development. With this full-featured icon and cursor editor, you can create and edit existing icons (ICO), cursors (CUR) and animated cursors (ANI), in all sizes and formats, including the new Windows XP Alpha format. You can create an icon by using Pixelshop's easy-to-use, built-in utility for converting an image (most formats including Adobe Photoshop Images) to an icon, or by using Pixelshop's simple-icon-designer interface. You also can apply several effects to your icons, such as a 3D drop shadow, smoothing, or colorizing. Incorporated in Pixelshop is an extensive help file, including tutorials.
Software that can be used as an alternative to Pixelshop: