CharCounter is an app to count characters and words. It's incredibly simple, but its redeeming virtues are: it's faster than opening Word (and it uses FAR less resources too!), and it's available as a System Service. Useful for forums with a post size limit, or for college papers with a minimum word number. Also, you can now (v. 2.6) tell CharCounter whether or not to include whitespace in the character count, and whether to use the normal or the math-friendly word counting algorithm.
What is new in this release:
It's got live counting, and the window can now be reopened after being closed.
Mac OS X 10.2 or higher. 10.1 unsupported, but may work.