I wanted to point you to this site: http://www.renewforfreedom.org/ . The site itself is only applicable for people who are citizens of the UK - as is most of this post - but you may want to take a look anyway.
I've been subscribed to the mailing list of the organisation behind it - NO2ID (whose site is at http://www.no2id.net/ ) - for some time, and they launched this site last month. Basically, the gist is that we (that is, those of us who are UK citizens) should renew our passports in May, whether they've expired or not. For a mere £51, this will at least keep us from being put on the so-called National Identity Register for 10 years.
May is the month in which NO2ID and their supporters - like me - are making a protest. Although the actual date when the changes will happen will be later - although possibly as early as October - in the meantime you can renew whenever you like. If everybody renews in May, then not only will we be part of a big movement to send a message to the Home Office about how we feel about the NIR, you also won't need to renew for another 10 years, and thus you'll remain off the Register for that time. In the meantime, NO2ID will be doing their best to combat the Register and the ID Card scheme.
There is a factsheet available from the http://www.renewforfreedom.org/ website - look on the right hand side for the graphic saying "NO2ID FACTSHEET 1" (note: PDF link). It explains more about why I (and all the supporters of NO2ID) think this is important, and why I feel we should do the same.
Anyone who knows me will know that I'm not one to normally recommend forwarding messages to people. In fact, when I get forwards, I normally refuse to forward them, look up the message on snopes.com, and if the message is there, point the sender towards it. (btw, if this message somehow ends up on snopes.com: Hi Barbara! :-D)
However, I will say this: If you would like to support the initiative, then as well as making sure to renew your passport in May, you might like to pass on the factsheet, or a link to the 'Renew for Freedom' website, with your endorsement. PLEASE DO NOT SPAM! You could, for example, copy this post or an excerpt of it into your own journal, or email it to friends, colleagues or mailing lists and fora where you regularly post (as long as it's relevant, please) with your own explanation of why you'll be renewing. Or print some copies out and distribute them.
You may also want to visit the "Get Involved" page at the NO2ID website: http://www.no2id.net/getInvolved/index.php . There are a number of options open to you.
I will be renewing my passport in May. If you're a UK citizen... please join me.