Morning Coffee is a website that I currently use to aggragate my morning comics together for me.
It started out just grabbing comics for me, rather than me hitting the four or five comics sites to see the webcomics. It was a series of perl scripts that wget'ed and scanned through the html pages to pull out the image links, then retrieved those images.
It progressed to also include headlines from news sites, including Slashdot, CNN, The Onion, and a few other sites. I had cleaned up the perl scripts at this point to shove all of the common functionality into a few .lib files.
A little while after this, XML and RSS started to exist, and I stopped updating the headline grabbers, and decided to focus on the comics instead. I had a few pages and perl scripts which managed the whole thing. It was cumbersome, but it worked.
The current incarnation of the comics grabbers are one step removed from this. There are two engines that reads in a configuration file. One is a perl script which grabs the image files from their respective websites, and the other is a PHP script which displays them for the web user.