I found an interesting section on the Interfacelift website which lets you download icon packages for use on Windows and Macintosh systems. You find more than 90 pages each with 10 icon packages for Macintosh, and 24 pages with 10 icon packages each for Microsoft Windows. Downloads are free of course, and icons look great. The site opens a popup with advertisement as well. If that annoys you use a popup blocker, or an ad blocker for your web browser of choice.
Update: The page has received light updates throughout the year. It now features more than 1300 icon sets on 135 pages, which is only a small increase if you consider that we are talking about a period of six years here, and that the original listing had already 114 pages of icons listed.
The free desktop icons page is now also listing icon sets for Linux which is one of the changes that you will notice when you visit it. Even though Linux is listed there, only 19 icon sets are provided for the operating system on 2 pages.
The top of the page lets you sort the icons in various ways, from the already mentioned operating system listings, to listing icons by ratings, total number of downloads or user comments. Downloads are still free and available even for users who are not registered or logged in on the site. This is without doubt one of the core reasons for the site's overall popularity.
Most icon packages that you download come with a readme that informs you about license agreements, but does not really explain how you change your existing desktop icons to the new icons.
Windows 7 users can right-click a blank spot on their desktop, and select Personalization from the context menu. They then see Change desktop icons listed in the upper right corner.
This is only offering you to change a few icons. If you need a program that can edit a larger number of icons, you may want to take a look at Icon Phile which can do that.
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