Thank you, that is a nice overview to reference when coming up against a daunting task like this. I did want to throw one tool into the mix that has been a great addition to my arsenal. The Case/ERD tool Toad Data Modeler handles the nicest mix of features without breaking the bank. It was originally named Case Studio and then purchased by Quest, albeit with a price increase to boot. It now costs about $479 (~$450 at Programmers Paradise), but far less expensive than most other tools with similar capabilities like ER/Win. Data Modeler handles the majority of tasks in your article, while also providing other nice features like column, table and object notes and comments that can be printed as part of your data dictionary, which also show when hovering over the object diagram.
Also, I like the idea about colored rectangles to group related tables. Using Data Modeler, I color the tables by group and group them visually in a similar area, as much as possible, while also providing a legend in each area to denote what each color represents.
Once again, thank you for you contribution,