SpinRite is still very much alive and kicking, and if it hadn't already been suggested, I was about to suggest it.
Good 'ol Steve Gibson still writes and maintains it, along with lots of other goodies on that site. He also does a weekly podcast called "Security Now" which is highly recommended. He really pimps SpinRite in the podcast, but whatcha gonna do... it's free (the podcast, not SpinRite).
You can very conveniently install spinrite on that old little usb key you have laying around (have a 64meg or smaller one? will work just fine. what else are you going to use that turd for?) instead of running it from a boot CD.
I hope this doesn't sound like a commercial for spinrite... I certainly don't work for them or anything... I just think it is good stuff and worth the $$.
That being said, spinrite didn't do jack squat for me when my 500gb USB drive magically formatted itself. After running trial versions of 2 expensive pieces of software (and having them fail or crap out in some way), I found recuva and it is kicking that drive's butt as we speak. It would appear that I'll lose very little data off of what was a very full drive. Excellent stuff.