I've been writing a bunch of daemons in Python lately, using most of the techniques described in the comments above. I soon found that all of my daemons needed to do pretty much exactly the same thing at startup. In addition to the fork and detach, I always need to read a configuration file, set up logging, check and write a pidfile, etc. So I refactored all of the common functionality into a single module. You can see it here:
I feel like something like this belongs in the Python standard library.
Nice sketch, maybe you should add it to sourceforge, or active state# Anthony