But if you were to do the smart thing, for many reasons, and move to Mozilla Firefox, you've got a pretty good chance of finding an extension that will do what you want.
In fact, just going to the Firefox extensions site, I was presented with this particular extension, which sounds almost exactly like what you want.
I also came across this one, which lets you search Google, Wikipedia, and some other sources from a context (right-click) menu.
There might be others as well, this is just what I turned up searching for about 2 minutes.
One of the things I seem to do a lot of is highlight a word or phrase, then click copy, then open up Google - "in a new window" - then click paste and hit enter. Is there a way to shorten the process, like maybe highlighting the word or phrase and then right click and a drop down menu would show up where I could select Google and it would automatically paste that word or phrase and begin a search - again, in a new window? Just looking for an easier and or faster way.
Thanks in advance,
Dell Dimension 2350, 2.0GHz, Windows XP Pro, SP2, Cable Modem, using IE6