My original Keyboard Maestro special character palette (which has been replaced by a much better version), used the Conflict Palette to display a window from which you could pick the special characters.
While this turned out to not be ideal for the special character palette (no way to pick more than one at a time), the Conflict Palette is ideal for many other tasks.
I use the one at right to search a number of web sites—activate the palette with ⌃⌥L then press a, for instance, type a query, press Return, and my browser loads with search results from my old macosxhints.com site.
Feel free to download my macro if you'd like to use/modify it.
I use a couple additional palettes—one for retrieving iTunes' artwork and searching the store, and the other for inserting commonly-used bits of code while writing help files in Coda for the Many Tricks' apps.
Here's how the web search palette looks in use; I love being able to search a specific site from anywhere without first switching to my browser. And because I have Keyboard Maestro syncing its macros, I can do this from any Mac I own.
The advantage of using the Conflict Palette for these web searches is that I need only remember one shortcut, not 11 different ones, and the palette is a nice visual reminder of which service I wanted to search.